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Defense Department AI Center Seeks Own Acquisition Authorities

The Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center was created only two years ago and has now grown its staff from four to 175 as well as developing an annual budget of $240 million. However, the JAIC is seeking its own acquisition authorities to meet technological demands. The JAIC has forged partnerships with other federal agencies such as the General Services Administration and the Defense Innovation Unit, utilizing these partnerships to execute procurement through their acquisition authorities.

In order to achieve the JAIC’s goals in fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan has claimed the agency needs its own acquisition authority. While the agency has been rewarding contracts that help it reach its technology goals through partnerships, it is necessary to look into the future, leading Shanahan to determine it is essential for the agency to have this power. It is also critical that the JAIC keeps pace with developing technology and foreign adversaries’ own deployments of it.

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