SO/LIC July Webinar- AISUM Challenges in Support of Deploying Artificial Intelligence for SOF

  • 7/23/2020 2:00 – 4:00 pm EDT
  • Theme : AISUM Challenges in Support of Deploying Artificial Intelligence for SOF
    Event Type : Webinar
    Event Code : 088F



The Department of Defense (DoD) has been challenged when broadly communicating about how it will use artificial intelligence (AI) under existing policy, most often due to confounding technical terminology and a lack of AI understanding amongst the general public. Nevertheless, DoD is actively working through AI-related policy concerns. In February 2020, it even adopted new AI principles from the Defense Innovation Board.

In launching an in-depth conversation about such principles, the warfighter perspective, and the role that AI plays in special operations and low-intensity conflict, this webinar offers a unique opportunity to discuss the development, implementation, and future of AI with respect to AISUM—the Artificial Intelligence Small Unit Maneuver.

AISUM provides a way for future special operations forces and expeditionary tactical maneuver elements to team with intelligent adaptive systems. Accordingly, it opens up analyses of how such teaming will greatly enhance mission precision, speed, and mass in complex, contested, and congested environments throughout the competition continuum. The ultimate aim in this effort is to maximize kinetic and non-kinetic effects while also reducing risk to missions and our own force, partners, and civilians. AISUM will utilize robotic autonomous systems in dense urban clutter (interior, exterior, subterranean) and dynamic, spectrum-denied areas, with no prior knowledge of the environment in support of human-machine teams for tactical maneuver and swarming tactics.

However, many questions remain as the DoD acquisitions process is not designed for the high level of experimentation and modification necessitated by AI. Instead, it assumes that products are ready for use once simply procured.


Join this webinar to enhance overall AI literacy, warfighter success, and more:

  • Investigate current and emerging challenges in the AI space
  • Explore six AISUM development areas
  • Discuss DoD’s present vulnerabilities and possible mitigating solutions
  • Review DoD Directive 3000.09 and how it applies to AI projects beyond the use of lethal autonomous weapons given existing legal and ethical frameworks
  • Develop means of adequately testing and evaluation AI and machine learning products that DoD procures from vendors
  • Advance the collaboration required for successful AI deployment


Moderator: COL Johnny Cochran, USA 
Former Acting Director, Close Combat Lethality Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Dr. Bruce Morris, 
Deputy Director, N9 Directorate (Futures/Innovations), Naval Special Warfare Command Headquarters 

Kelly Hughes 
Senior Acquisition Analyst, Secretariat for Special Operations, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Low Intensity Conflict 

Andy Brough, 
Lead, Expeditionary Warfare, Naval Surface Warfare Center 

COL Joel Babbitt, USA 
Program Executive Officer, SOF Warrior, SOF AT&L, U.S. Special Operations Command 

David Breede 
Program Executive Officer, Special Reconnaissance, SOF AT&L, U.S. Special Operations Command