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News » U.S. Homeland Security launches AI roadmap, initiates key pilot projects

U.S. Homeland Security launches AI roadmap, initiates key pilot projects

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) uses artificial intelligence (AI) to investigate heinous crimes. Photo from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) AI Roadmap 2024.

WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES — The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is spearheading the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies within the federal government following an executive order issued last October

The agency has detailed its AI strategy through a recently unveiled roadmap and three pilot projects aimed at improving various administrative and security processes.

DHS AI programs target immigration, disasters, investigations

One of the pilot programs will utilize AI in Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to improve the detection of fentanyl and combat child exploitation. 

DHS noted, “The LLM [large-language models]-based system will leverage open-source technologies to allow investigators to more quickly summarize and search for contextually relevant information within investigative reports.”

Another pilot involves the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) applying AI to optimize hazard mitigation planning, particularly for underserved communities.

The third initiative will see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services develop an AI-driven application to train immigration officers better. 

“The DHS AI roadmap and pilots will guide our efforts this year to strengthen our national security, improve our operations, and provide more efficient services to the American people, while upholding our commitment to protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

AI talent hunt intensifies

The DHS is aggressively recruiting AI experts to create teams that leverage the technology through pilot programs and other initiatives. 

“We are recruiting faster than ever because the need is urgent. More Americans interact with DHS every day than any other federal agency, so the better and faster we can deploy responsible AI, the more it can positively impact the American people,” said DHS Chief Information Officer and chief AI officer Eric Hysen.

DHS aims to build an “AI Corps” and has launched a hiring sprint to onboard 50 AI technology experts. The AI talent will work on advancing innovation, providing expertise in AI/ML, data science, cybersecurity, and more.

As a high-profile federal agency, DHS is well-positioned as an early AI adopter, according to Forrester’s Alla Valente. She expects other agencies like Energy and Health to follow suit, driven by the private sector’s rapid AI adoption.

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