Carnegie Mellon University

Image of an autonomous helicopter carrying a truck

December 04, 2018

Army AI Task Force Selects Carnegie Mellon as New Hub

By Matthew Nagel

Julie Mattera
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-2902

Carnegie Mellon University has been selected as the hub of the United States Army's AI Task Force launched earlier this fall. The launch of the Task Force allows the Army to better connect with the broader artificial intelligence (AI) community as they focus their efforts in this constantly changing field. As the charter location for this national effort, the center based at Carnegie Mellon will engage universities and companies from across the nation and tap into the vibrant robotics and AI community in Pittsburgh.

"As the host site for this important effort, Carnegie Mellon will leverage its distinct strengths in artificial intelligence to assist the Army in building a vibrant AI innovation network with industry and university partners from across the nation," said Carnegie Mellon President Farnam Jahanian. "This partnership builds upon the university's long history of collaboration with the Department of Defense and industry partners. It is also a reflection of Pittsburgh's strengths as a hub for innovation and home to the world's top talent in emerging technologies."

"The Army is moving rapidly to develop and apply breakthroughs in AI to impact all aspects of Army operations," said Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley, director of Army Artificial Intelligence within Army Futures Command. "Carnegie Mellon is an excellent partner to help advance research and education initiatives and engage researchers throughout the nation to support and safeguard the men and women serving our nation."

The partnership will support projects responsible for the future force modernization that are initiated by the Army Futures Command. The Task Force will form agile teams of operational technical experts to rapidly develop prototype capabilities and create a talent management plan to enable the Army to hire, develop, and retain the necessary skills to support and foster AI development well into the future. Another benefit of this location is engagement with the local innovation ecosystem of defense companies, small businesses, and startups in the Pittsburgh region. The military's current priorities are for applications of artificial intelligence to equipment maintenance/logistics; situational awareness; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Carnegie Mellon's strengths in artificial intelligence span many disciplines across campus, with AI experts and researchers embedded in almost every school and college. The School of Computer Science, the first college in the world devoted solely to computing, is home to the world's first Ph.D. program in machine learning as well as the top ranked graduate program in AI. This fall, the school also launched the nation's first undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence. CMU's expertise ranges from machine learning and language understanding to ethics and policy ramifications of emerging technologies. In 2017, a Carnegie Mellon-led team submitted the winning proposal for the Manufacturing USA Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, which also is directed by the Army and has its main site in Pittsburgh.

"Carnegie Mellon has long been a leader in fundamental research in AI, largely because of our interdisciplinary approach blending computer science, psychology, engineering, ethics and other disciplines," said Tom Mitchell, interim dean of the School of Computer Science. "This new effort will further strengthen our ability to partner with other universities, companies and government agencies to bring in even more diverse perspectives to move the field forward."

Carnegie Mellon and the Task Force will have a joint event to mark the opening of the location early in 2019.