Homeland Security Unveils AI Road Map, Pilot Programs

The road map outlines the department’s AI initiatives, as well as the potential use of AI technologies

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

March 26, 2024

2 Min Read
An exterior view of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency headquarters
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security has unveiled its first artificial intelligence road map, detailing the agency's plans to utilize the technology and introduce three pilot projects.

The road map, which aligns with President Biden’s “Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” executive order, will guide the agency’s testing efforts and include commitments to ensure AI systems used are “rigorously tested to avoid bias, disparate impact, privacy harms and other risks.”

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will use AI to help investigate fentanyl and child exploitation-related crimes and assist with hazard mitigation planning. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will use it to enhance the training of immigration officers.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said the unprecedented speed and potential of AI’s development and adoption presents both “enormous opportunities to advance” the agency’s mission, as well as the risks it must mitigate.

“What we learn from the pilot projects will be beneficial in shaping how the department can effectively and responsibly use AI across the homeland security enterprise moving forward,” he said.

The three pilot programs were designed to help the department evaluate the use of AI for operational efficiency.

Related:California Issues Generative AI Tool Use Guidelines

HSI will use a large language model-based system to summarize and search investigations to increase the detection of fentanyl-related networks, assist in identifying perpetrators and victims of child exploitation crimes and help identify significant patterns and trends to support HSI's work. While it was not disclosed what model investigators would be testing, the agency said it would leverage open source technologies during the pilot.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will launch a generative AI pilot to support hazard mitigation planning for local governments and underserved communities. This initiative will assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in crafting and tailoring plans to their specific locations, as well as aiding in the preparation of grant applications for local funding.

USCIS will use generative AI to create interactive training materials for immigration officers that include personalized materials for an officer’s specific needs to improve their knowledge of relevant laws and policies. The pilot aims to help immigration officers improve the accuracy of their decision making, as well as limit retraining.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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