At the end of 2019, The Pentagon microsoft thing for a $ 10 billion JEDI contract aimed at use cloud for the modernization of the U.S. military computer infrastructure. The agency terminated the deal on Tuesday. The Pentagon said it would start over with a new contract that would require technology from both Amazon i Microsoft, and this offers better support for projects that require large amounts of data, such as improving military decision-making artificial intelligence.
The new contract will be called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. It tries to avoid the legal and political mess that has created around JEDI. Microsoft competitors Amazon and Oracle have argued in litigation that the award process was distorted. In April, the Federal Claims Court refused to dismiss Amazon’s lawsuit, alleging that bias against the company by President Trump and other officials pushed the Pentagon in favor of Microsoft, creating potential for years of litigation.
Pentagon announcement published on Tuesday did not mention JEDI’s legal issues, but said the U.S. military’s technical needs have evolved since it first requested bids for the original 2018 contract. JEDI included support for AI projects, but acting Pentagon chief information officer John Sherman said in a statement that the department’s need for infrastructure difficult for algorithms has grown even more.
“Our landscape has progressed and a new path is guaranteed to achieve dominance in the traditional and non-traditional domains of warfare,” Sherman said. He cited two recent AI-focused programs, suggesting they would get better support from the new contract and its two suppliers.
One is called Joint All Domain Command and Control, which aims to connect data sources from military systems across land, sea, air and space so that algorithms can help commanders identify targets and choose between possible responses. In an air force exercise that was linked to the program last year, the aircraft used it VR headsets and defense startup software Anduril to order an actual air defense to shoot down a fake cruise missile over the White Sands missile field in New Mexico.
Sherman also suggested that the JWCC help the project announced last month to accelerate the adoption of intelligence across the Pentagon, including the creation of special data teams and artificial intelligence experts for each of the agency’s 11 top military commands.
The Pentagon’s claim to better support advanced technology like AI projects shows that President Biden’s Pentagon continues to emphasize the military potential of artificial intelligence that began during the Obama administration and continued during President Trump. Successive defense secretaries said eavesdropping on that potential will require better connections with companies from the technology industry, including cloud suppliers and startups. However, some artificial intelligence experts fear more military AI could have unethical or deadly consequencesand some technical workers, including Google, protested the Pentagon agreement.
Andrew Hunter, director of the Defense Industry Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Pentagon appears to have decided that restarting the system is the most efficient way to get the cloud computing resources the department needs. some time.
Computer-dependent projects like this one trying to link various military services and hardware are key to the Pentagon’s strategy to confront China. “The potential of cloud computing is the ability to apply sophisticated analytical techniques like AI to your data so you can act with more knowledge than your opponents,” Sherman says.
JEDI wasn’t the Pentagon’s only contract on cloud computing, but the speed at which its successor can run can still have a significant impact on the Pentagon’s cloud and AI dreams. Had everyone planned, the initial two-year JEDI phase should have been completed in April. Hunter expects the department to try to finalize the contract quickly – but also to make sure that the controversy over JEDI does not recur.