Airman Magazine: Artificial Intelligence
 
 



 

How is the Air Force charting the future of RESPONSIBLE AI research and development?

MACHINE LEARNING. LARGE LANGUAGE MODELS. AUTONOMY. RESPONSIBLE USE.

All aspects of Artificial Intelligence or AI.
 

Recognizing AI’s nearly limitless potential to shape the future of defense and technology, the Air Force is rigorously exploring the vast opportunities of human-machine teaming to expedite critical decision-making and ensure readiness for tomorrow’s challenges. 

In this issue of Airman Magazine, we spoke to the Air Force’s leading minds on AI  and learned how Airmen and Guardians are developing solutions to strengthen national security, enhance capabilities, and remain committed to innovation in an evolving technological landscape.

 

 

MACHINE LEARNING. LARGE LANGUAGE MODELS. AUTONOMY. RESPONSIBLE USE.

All aspects of Artificial Intelligence or AI.
 

Recognizing AI’s nearly limitless potential to shape the future of defense and technology, the Air Force is rigorously exploring the vast opportunities of human-machine teaming to expedite critical decision-making and ensure readiness for tomorrow’s challenges. 
 

In this issue of Airman Magazine, we spoke to the Air Force’s leading minds on AI  and learned how Airmen and Guardians are developing solutions to strengthen national security, enhance capabilities, and remain committed to innovation in an evolving technological landscape.

 

 



 

"There will always be a human who has the ability to turn off the system in the event that it is making an erroneous decision or has put the pilots or the operator in a bad situation. So, that concept of having a human on the loop, whether it's any type of autonomous system that the DOD plans to employ, is what adds that level of safety I think we need to ensure the public and the broader community, as a whole, understands."

- Captain Blake “Bandit” Morgan, chief flight test engineer, Advanced Capabilities


 
 
 

 
 

The United States Air Force's Focus on AI Research and Development

In the vast expanse of the digital frontier, where cutting-edge technology meets the demands of modern warfare, the United States Air Force stands at the forefront of innovation. Among its arsenal of advancements, artificial intelligence emerges as a pivotal force, shaping the future of aerial dominance and national security.

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At Altitude: Col. Tucker Hamilton

Col. Tucker "Cinco" Hamilton, 96th Operations Group commander at Eglin AFB and Air Force AI test and operations chief, discusses the current state of AI within the Air Force, ongoing research, development and testing and AI’s place in building the force of the future.

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"Being AI-Ready by 2025, to me is about much more than just the hardware we develop, it’s also about the infrastructure, processes, and policies we create to make sure we can test and evaluate  Autonomy and AI in a rigorous, but expedient fashion."

- Lt. Col. Michael “Cap” Pacini, Commander, 416th Flight Test Squadron


 
 
 

"Artificial intelligence is an evolution of software code that allows us to do things with technology that we haven't been able to do before. We give the software an initial data set with guardrails, but then the software is actually rewriting aspects of itself in order to optimize a human-defined objective. It is learning in a mathematical loop process. It's not magic, it's math."

- Col. Tucker Hamilton, 96th Operations Group commander at Eglin Air Force Base and Air Force AI test and operations chief


 
 

Smart Airframes and AI

The 40th Flight Test Squadron, under the 96th Test Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is responsible for conducting developmental tests and evaluation on various airframes and weapon systems. In this video, Capt. Blake “BANDIT” Morgan, 40th FTS flight test engineer, explains the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used as autonomous force multipliers. (U.S. Air Force video by Tech. Sgt. Janiqua P. Robinson)

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  "Being AI-Ready by 2025, to me is about much more than just the hardware we develop, it’s also about the infrastructure, processes, and policies we create to make sure we can test and evaluate  Autonomy and AI in a rigorous, but expedient fashion."

- Lt. Col. Michael “Cap” Pacini, Commander, 416th Flight Test Squadron


 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

The AI Test Force

Recent developments have markedly increased the scope of AI, enhancing tasks as routine as paperwork processing and as complex as the advancement of kinetic warfare technologies. The Air Force Test Center is at the forefront of the Air Force's exploration into AI and autonomy and leverages its vast institutional knowledge, resources and the skilled ingenuity and creativity of its testing experts to craft innovative solutions that address the challenges confronting the Air Force today and into the future.

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Pushing the Envelope: AI's Evolution in Cyber Security

This episode of ‘Pushing the Envelope’ explores how artificial intelligence and machine learning could be force multipliers in getting the Air Force and Space Force ready for future conflict, which Kendall said, “could happen at any time.”

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"I think the biggest question that we're trying to answer in the test community is how we deliver tactical autonomy to the warfighter? How do we get capability from the development in the labs, to doing simulations on the ground, to getting it on the aircraft and executing a live flight test event, to then getting that data back to the developers so they can iterate? We need this capability and we're going to need to be able to iterate on it quickly and we're going to need to be able to deliver it fast to get it in the hands of the people who are going to be using it."

- Capt. Blake “Bandit” Morgan, chief flight test engineer, Advanced Capabilities Division, 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base


 
 

The Phantoms & Upskilling Airmen

In the pursuit of developing a strategic advantage against our adversaries, it’s imperative for the U.S. Air Force to harness all available national assets. The MIT AI Accelerator emphasizes the fusion of advancing science with practical problem-solving through programs like the Phantoms. By fostering partnerships with industry and academia, the AI Accelerator aims to cultivate the integration of technology into military operations while remaining agile in the face of evolving threats. (U.S. Air Force video by Master Sgt. Christopher Griffin)

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"An open question we have going forward is, should we modify those DOD ethical principles in order to reflect this new capability or should we restrict the use of the new capability because it doesn't meet the DOD’s AI ethical principles, one possible solution to that is just to recognize that there's nuance here. Some use cases are very high risk and some are very low risk and we should allow Airmen and Guardians to experiment to the max extent possible with low risk use cases, so they can start to get the practice in and identify how these things might fail. Eventually, I think the entire workforce will be upskilled in these tools, but only if we give them the ability to experiment at scale."

- Lt. Col. Joe Chappa, Chief Data and AI office for the Department of the Air Force
 

 
 
 
 
 
AIRMAN MAGAZINE