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The Pentagon has announced the creation of a new position that will be responsible for coordinating the department’s data and artificial intelligence efforts. The chief digital and AI officer (CDAO) will report to the deputy secretary of defense.

  • Robert Work, former deputy secretary of defense and now co-chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said this was the best first step within legislation to consolidate the work of the Defense Digital Service, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and the chief data officer and that by June 1, 2022, there should be an understanding between the Defense Department and Congress about the best way forward.
  • Work said Congress requires the chief data officer (CDO) to report to the chief information officer but that the Defense Department will probably ask Congress for legislative relief over the next year to move the CDO under the CDAO.
  • Work said he thinks the new role is a good idea in that it will help disparate offices work better together and help the deputy secretary focus on the most important problems.

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