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DHS Unveils Artificial Intelligence Road Map, Pilots

The federal Department of Homeland Security on Monday released its first artificial intelligence road map, which includes three AI pilot projects to test the technology's impact. Map goals include making DHS’ use of AI more transparent.

Hand holds glowing cyan-colored orb in palm with connected, cyan-colored data points floating around it over dark background.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has unveiled its first Artificial Intelligence Roadmap, detailing the department’s future plans for the technology.

It follows several earlier federal moves on AI, most notably President Joe Biden’s October executive order on AI. The Biden-Harris administration’s voluntary “AI Bill of Rights,” from October 2022, aimed to protect citizens’ rights as AI evolves. And last April, DHS announced its Artificial Intelligence Task Force to explore how AI could help the department meet its goals.

DHS’ release of the road map Monday furthers this work, detailing the department’s plans for the next year, including the testing of several uses of AI technology. It lays out DHS’ AI-related initiatives, explores the technology’s potential across the department and aims to make DHS’ use of AI more transparent.

In a letter from DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas within the road map, he describes the resource as “the most detailed AI plan put forward by a federal agency to date.”

“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,” Mayorkas said in a news release.

The road map details three new pilot programs that will allow DHS to assess AI’s role in improving capabilities in certain areas.

The first involves Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) testing AI’s role in improving fentanyl detection investigation processes. HSI will also test AI’s ability to make investigations related to combating child sexual exploitation more efficient. This pilot aims to unlock data-driven insights using a large language model-based system.

For the second pilot, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will use generative AI to help communities develop hazard mitigation plans. It looks to support plan development for state, local, tribal and territorial governments.

The third pilot will involve the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services using AI in immigration officer training. This includes the creation of personalized training materials that adapt to officers’ needs, aiming to improve trainees’ knowledge acquisition and retention of information.

Each pilot team will partner with privacy, security and civil rights experts throughout the pilot process, which is intended to further inform departmentwide AI policies.

As DHS explores AI technology in various use cases, the AI road map will help guide the department’s work with three specific lines of effort: first, responsibly leverage AI to advance homeland security missions; second, promote nationwide AI safety and security; and third, continue to lead in AI through strong, cohesive partnerships.