Biden’s $1.5 trillion spending bill contains $200M for AI defense plans

Funds to add to the $1.5 billion in the DoD budget already earmarked for AI.

Ben Wodecki

March 29, 2022

2 Min Read

Funds to add to the $1.5 billion in the DoD budget already earmarked for AI

The $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package, recently signed into law by President Joe Biden, contains provisions providing the Department of Defense with more funds to splurge on AI.

The Defense Department was allocated $200 million via the Artificial Intelligence and Development Fund, designed to be spent on tactical AI at the combatant command level.

Before any spending, however, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would have to sit down with congressional defense committees to draft out an "execution plan" to determine where exactly the funds would be spent.

Another $50 million is to be spent on recruiting AI talent while $23 million is allocated towards improving training at U.S. Cyber Command and $70 million will be used to increase AI and data work at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

More cash to splash

The $200 million adds to the $1.5 billion in the U.S. Department of Defense budget already earmarked for AI over the next five years.

The AI spending spree was announced last summer by Austin, saying the plans were to “make the Pentagon of the near future dramatically more effective, more agile, and more ready.”

The U.S.’s spending on AI for defense is in tandem with various field tests and deployments.

American military researchers are working alongside their British counterparts to develop machine learning algorithms to support soldiers on the ground. The two nations conducted field tests of some 15 algorithms designed for use in close combat last October.

That same month saw the U.S. Army test unmanned combat vehicles during mock bottles and the U.S. Navy’s dedicated unmanned task force revealing deployment plans.

Image: U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens

About the Authors

Ben Wodecki

Assistant Editor

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