As the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace continues to grow, so does the anxiety many workers feel over what the proliferation of AI will ultimately mean for their employability.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is introducing a resource the agency hopes will help educate the DoD workforce on the role that AI and other developing technologies will play in augmenting the work of its 700,000 civilian employees and in advancing the agency’s mission in the days ahead.
The DoD Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) recently announced the launch of “Digital On-Demand,” an initiative designed to accelerate AI knowledge among the DoD workforce by providing employees with access to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Horizon’s library of learning resources for the DoD enterprise, according to DoD. The MIT Horizon learning platform will be open to all members of the DoD military and civilian workforce, offering users “flexible, mobile-friendly options” to view content.
“The CDAO is rolling out Digital On-Demand to foster a baseline understanding of AI systems and other emerging technologies,” said Dr. Craig Martell, DoD chief digital and artificial intelligence officer, in a statement. “This resource demonstrates to the DoD how they fit into the future of these advancements and further enables their adoption throughout the department.”
According to DoD, this November rollout follows this summer’s successful soft launch to members of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) workforce. In August 2022, CDAO piloted content into a 101-training program for roughly 1,200 DoD participants, according to the agency, which says pilot results showed 91% of participants finding the content broadened their understanding of AI. Another 97% aid they found the content relevant to their role.
The CDAO provides this capability through Digital University, a joint venture of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force that graves access to training content. The Digital On-Demand platform can be used to gain foundational knowledge of certain technologies, and acts as a reference tool to provide definitions or explanations of terms and concepts, according to DoD.
The online platform consists of bite-sized learning assets on AI capabilities along with other nascent technologies—the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, edge computing, generative AI, cybersecurity and big data analytics, for example. One of the DoD’s goals in providing entry-level AI knowledge via this platform is to “establish a common language and understanding to enable better communication across the DoD,” according to the agency.
Describing this DoD effort to build a digital workforce as an “historical journey,” Kathleen Kennedy, senior director of MIT Horizon and executive director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, stressed the need to ensure a solid standard of technological proficiency across an organization of the DoD’s size and scope.
“When it comes to AI and emerging technologies,” said Kennedy, in a statement, “it is really important that their employees are all speaking the same language.”
29 November 2023
HR News Article