An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NIWC Pacific collaborates on potential of AI for maritime security, defense

18 March 2024

From Ashley Nekoui

SAN DIEGO — Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific hosted the eighth annual workshop on Naval Applications of Machine Learning (NAML), which brought together experts and innovators from government, academia and industry to explore the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) March 11-14 in San Diego.

Over the course of this four-day event, presenters highlighted the impact these technologies are having and will continue to have on the future of maritime security and defense and provided a platform for collaboration among the 600 attendees.  

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jack Long, acting Navy Chief AI Officer at the Office of Naval Research, opened the event as the initial keynote speaker, providing a preview of the Marine Corps’ AI Strategy, still in its draft stage.

“Fighting smart,” said Long. “That is the key to what we want to do. The Marine Corps is very good at fighting. If you look at how we’ve fought for the last 50 years, compared to where we could be in the future, not to say we fought dumb but we can certainly fight smarter.”

Long also highlighted the Marine Corps’ commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance readiness, agility, and mission success in an increasingly complex and dynamic operating environment.

“We are very much focused on maneuver warfare, rapidly seizing the initiative, breaking apart the enemy’s coherence and beating them through that,” said Long. “Fighting smart is how you do that. We need to make decisions faster than they can and put them in a position they’re unable to react to… if we are not leveraging these tools, we’re not going to be able to do that. We want to recognize that and make it central to how we think about information, how we think about intelligence and decision making for our senior leaders all the way down to our most junior leaders.”

As the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps continue to adapt to evolving threats and operational environments, AI/ML is expected to play an increasingly important role in enhancing capabilities, improving decision making processes, and ensuring mission success in the 21st century maritime domain.

NIWC Pacific established NAML in 2016 as a showcase for ML research at its labs, and very quickly grew to include partners from other Navy warfare centers and defense organizations. NIWC Pacific now partners with the San Diego chapter of AFCEA International San Diego, and NAML serves as a forum for government, industry, and academia to share their work and learn about technical developments in the defense space.

“NAML has almost tripled in size from when we started the program,” said Katie Rainey, Ph.D., a NIWC Pacific scientist and one of the founding organizers of the event. Rainey notes how she has personally seen the benefits of this event, identifying projects that have been generated based on the communication that takes place at this forum.

NIWC Pacific organizes the technical agenda at NAML, which included around 150 technical talks and 60 posters at the unclassified and classified levels. Themes that emerged from the agenda included advances in developing AI for low-data and low-power environments, and ways to ensure that AI systems are robust and reliable in safety-critical settings.

Events such as the NAML workshop are a key part of collecting the best minds from across the defense community to solicit war-winning solutions for the fleet, according to Rainey. Through events, tech talks and strategic partnerships, NIWC Pacific is using innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence to keep the Navy on the cutting edge of information warfare.

As a part of NAVWAR, NIWC Pacific’s mission is to conduct research, development, engineering, and support of integrated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, and space systems across all warfighting domains, and to rapidly prototype, conduct test and evaluation, and provide acquisition, installation, and in-service engineering support.


Google Translation Disclaimer

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon