The Pentagon will create a new chief digital and artificial intelligence officer (CDAO) role early next year that will oversee the department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), Defense Digital Service (DDS) and chief data officer (CDO), according to a memo released Wednesday.
The CDAO role, which will be stood up by Feb. 1, reports directly to the deputy secretary of defense and serves as a central official to coordinate artificial intelligence and digital solutions initiatives at the senior levels of the Pentagon.
“The Department has made significant strides in unlocking the power of its data, harnessing artificial intelligence and providing digital solutions for the joint force. Many components have contributed to this progress. Yet stronger alignment and synchronization are needed to accelerate decision advantage and generate advanced capabilities for our warfighters,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote in the memo
The three offices under the CDAO’s purview–the JAIC, DDS and CDO–have until this point operated independently but will now receive guidance from the newly created position as the Pentagon pushes to proliferate its integration of AI and advanced digital solutions.
“The CDAO will serve as the department’s senior official responsible for strengthening and integrating data, artificial intelligence and digital solutions in the department,” Hicks wrote.
In her memo, Hicks said an implementation plan for CDAO will be submitted by Jan. 15 with the goal of reaching full operational capability by this coming June.