A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) emphasizes the need for the Department of Defense to issue department-wide artificial intelligence (AI) acquisitions guidance. The report highlights the department’s historical challenges in acquiring weapon systems software and acknowledges the additional challenges posed by AI acquisitions. The GAO provides key recommendations for the department and military departments to develop such guidance and notes the lack of concrete plans and timelines for its implementation.
- GAO Report: The GAO report highlights the Department of Defense’s struggle in acquiring weapon systems software and the need for specific guidance on AI acquisitions.
- Factors for Successful Acquisitions: The report analyzes information from 13 private sector companies to determine key factors for successful AI acquisitions. These factors include understanding the need for AI, making a business case, tailoring contracting approaches, testing and evaluating proposed solutions, and forecasting valuable AI capabilities.
- Recommendations and Department Response: The GAO report provides four recommendations for the department and military departments to develop guidance for AI acquisitions. The department has concurred with the recommendations, but concrete plans and timelines are yet to be defined.
- Lack of Department-Wide Guidance: The report emphasizes the absence of department-wide guidance for AI acquisitions within the Department of Defense. It also notes the lack of AI acquisition-specific guidance for military services, despite officials acknowledging its helpfulness in navigating the process.
- Future Planning: The GAO report urges the Department of Defense to establish concrete plans and timelines for developing department-wide guidance on AI acquisitions, considering the increasing pursuit of advanced AI capabilities within the department.