Deputy Secretary of Defense Discusses AI During Nomination Hearing: During her confirmation hearing before the Senate, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks named AI and autonomy as two of the Pentagon’s modernization priorities. In her written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hicks said the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center would be her “primary tool for guiding and accelerating the integration of artificial intelligence into the Department’s missions and activities.” As the second-highest-ranking official in the DOD, Hicks will oversee much of the department’s AI development and adoption; the most recent NDAA modified the JAIC’s reporting structure so that it now reports directly to the deputy secretary. In her written statement, Hicks committed to regular meetings with the JAIC leadership and proposed creating metrics to track the department’s AI adoption. On February 8, the Senate confirmed Deputy Secretary Hicks by voice vote.
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