Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The Pentagon will help develop artificial intelligence algorithms to improve decision-making of first responders in natural disasters and humanitarian efforts.
That plan was announced during a virtual meeting involving the Defense Department, Microsoft, the Department of Energy and a White House official Thursday.
Five consortiums of businesses and government agencies have been launched, said Michael J. Kratsios, the Defense Department's chief technology officer.
Their goal, the U.S. Army said, is to employ the best AI technology talent from industry to respond to humanitarian assistance and to mitigate natural disasters by protecting property and lives, notably those of first responders.
The U.S. military devotes significant time and resources to disaster response and humanitarian assistance, noted Nand Mulchandani, acting director of the Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
"Software has unique and powerful properties," Mulchandani said. "If you build it well with the right customer focus and architecture, the more you build, the cheaper it gets."
The JAIC has worked with the U.S. National Guard for over a year to build AI-enabled capabilities in fireline detection and flood damage assessment. It has partnered with Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Lab to scale its AI prototypes to the demands of first responders.