Emergency Preparedness, Human Resources, Security

Homeland Security Launches AI Roadmap and Pilot Projects

These days, it seems everyone is exploring the potential of AI—even our government.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced its first “Artificial Intelligence Roadmap” and three pilot projects that will deploy AI in specific mission areas. The announcement follows President Joe Biden’s 2023 executive order directing the federal government to help advance the “safe, secure, and trustworthy development and use” of AI.

“The unprecedented speed and potential of AI’s development and adoption presents both enormous opportunities to advance our mission and risks we must mitigate,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “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.”

The roadmap lays out the department’s AI initiatives, describes the potential of AI technologies across DHS, and underscores a dedication to responsible utilization.

Meanwhile, the three new pilot programs will allow DHS to assess the efficacy of AI in improving its mission capabilities. With a focus on Large Language Model (LLM) and Generative AI (GenAI) technology, the pilot projects include the following:

  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will test an LLM-based system to enhance investigative processes focused on detecting fentanyl and increasing efficiency of investigations related to combatting child sexual exploitation;
  2. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will deploy GenAI to help communities plan for and develop hazard mitigation plans to build resilience and minimize risks; and
  3. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will use GenAI to improve immigration officer training.

Each pilot team is partnering with privacy, cybersecurity, and civil rights and civil liberties experts throughout their development and evaluation process. This work will inform department-wide policies on AI governance.

These efforts build on DHS’s previous AI initiatives, including creating an AI Task Force, naming a Chief AI Officer, and kicking off a hiring sprint to recruit 50 AI experts.

The full AI roadmap is available here.

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