National Security Commission on AI Emphasizes Need for Human-Machine Teaming

In 2018, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI)—composed of prominent technologists and innovators—was charged with making recommendations that would “advance the development of artificial intelligence [AI], machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.” The NSCAI recently presented their recommendations for a strategy for “winning the artificial intelligence era.” 

In 16 chapters, the NSCAI report delves into various topics surrounding AI and defense—including autonomous weapons systems, technical talent, and intellectual property—and pushes for a hard deadline of 2025 for establishing the foundations for AI integration across the Department of Defense. Importantly, the report highlights the need for the government to invest in human-machine teaming that maintains a balance between AI and human capabilities:

The government needs AI systems that augment and complement human understanding and decision-making so that the complementary strengths of humans and AI can be leveraged as an optimal team.

The necessity for innovation in the AI space, and in particular the need for human-machine teaming, is the exact challenge Ox Intel was founded to address. As the report notes, issues regarding “delegated authority, observability, predictability, directability, and trust” plague current approaches to integrating AI into traditional human-led processes. In particular, the report highlights the “black box” nature of machine learning models as an obstacle to effective teaming and trust between humans and machines. The Ox tool offers an opportunity to remove such barriers.

Not only does Ox avoid black box AI, it removes the black box around how humans make judgments, bringing transparency to the entire process. Ox enables users to structure, track, and improve their decision-making, enlisting machines as partners. Users are central to every step of the process, which starts with the creation of analytical frameworks capturing user-defined criteria. Transparency is central to Ox’s approach to AI, and preserving user confidence is at the forefront of Ox’s mission.

Ox’s approach to human-AI teaming makes “justified confidence in AI systems” a priority. By leveraging AI and big data to enhance human decision-making, Ox divides analytical tasks into two categories: those requiring human judgment, and those that can be outsourced to machines, thereby expediting the analytical process. Ox’s AI can then make suggestions based on insights from collected data, but the human user remains in charge. 

AI and other next-generation technologies are poised to transform warfighting. The NSCAI recognizes that the U.S. must in turn prepare for a military and intelligence future defined by the coming AI revolution. By removing barriers to human-machine teaming, Ox promises to empower the intelligence and defense communities to unlock opportunities around AI.