Technology & Innovation

FY24 NDAA AI Tracker

07.18.23 | 1 min read | Text by Divyansh Kaushik & Liam Alexander & Jack Titus

As both the House and Senate gear up to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), FAS is launching this live blog post to track all proposals around artificial intelligence (AI) that have been included in the NDAA. In this rapidly evolving field, these provisions indicate how AI now plays a pivotal role in our defense strategies and national security framework. This tracker will be updated following major updates.

Senate NDAA. This table summarizes the provisions related to AI from the version of the Senate NDAA that advanced out of committee on July 11. Links to the section of the bill describing these provisions can be found in the “section” column. Provisions that have been added in the manager’s package are in red font.

Senate NDAA Provisions
Generative AI Detection and Watermark CompetitionDirects Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to create a competition for technology that detects and watermarks the use of generative artificial intelligence.218
DoD Prize Competitions for Business Systems ModernizationAuthorizes competitions to improve military business systems, emphasizing the integration of AI where possible.221
Broad review and update of DoD AI StrategyDirects the Secretary of Defense to perform a periodic review and update of its 2018 AI strategy, and to develop and issue new guidance on a broad range of AI issues, including adoption of AI within DoD, ethical principles for AI, mitigation of bias in AI, cybersecurity of generative AI, and more.222
Strategy and assessment on use of automation and AI for shipyard optimizationDevelopment of a strategy on the use of AI for Navy shipyard logistics332
Strategy for talent development and management of DoD Computer Programming WorkforceEstablishes a policy for “appropriate” talent development and management policies, including for AI skills.1081
Sense of the Senate Resolution in Support of NATOOffers support for NATO and NATO’s DIANA program as critical to AI and other strategic priorities1238 | 1239
Enhancing defense partnership with IndiaDirects DoD to enhance defense partnership with India, including collaboration on AI as one potential priority area.1251
Specification of Duties for Electronic Warfare Executive CommitteeAmends US code to specify the duties of the Electronic Warfare Executive Committee, including an assessment of the need for automated, AI/ML-based electronic warfare capabilities1541
Next Generation Cyber Red TeamsDirects the DoD and NSA to submit a plan to modernize cyber red-teaming capabilities, ensuring the ability to emulate possible threats, including from AI1604
Management of Data Assets by Chief Digital OfficerOutlines responsibilities for CDAO to provide data analytics capabilities needed for “global cyber-social domain.”1605
Developing Digital Content Provenance CourseDirects Director of Defense Media Activity to develop a course on digital content provenance, including digital forgeries developed with AI systems, e.g. AI-generated “deepfakes,”1622

Report on Artificial Intelligence Regulation in Financial Services Industry

Directs regulators of the financial services industry to produce reports analyzing how AI is and ought to be used by the industry and by regulators6096

AI Bug Bounty Programs

Directs CDAO to develop a bug bounty program for AI foundation models that are being integrated in DOD operations6097

Vulnerability analysis study for AI-enabled military applications

Directs CDAO to complete a study analyzing vulnerabilities to the privacy, security, and accuracy of AI-enabled military applications, as well as R&D needs for such applications, including foundation models.6098

Report on Data Sharing and Coordination

Directs SecDef to to submit a report on ways to improve data sharing across DoD6099

Establishment of Chief AI Officer of the Department of State

Establishes within the Department of State a Chief AI Officer, who may also serve as Chief Data Officer to oversee adoption of AI in the Department and to advise the Secretary of State on the use of AI in conducting data-informed diplomacy.6303

House NDAA. This table summarizes the provisions related to AI from the version of the House NDAA that advanced out of committee. Links to the section of the bill describing these provisions can be found in the “section” column.

House NDAA Provisions
Process to ensure the responsible development and use of artificial intelligenceDirects CDAO to develop a process for assessing whether AI technology used by DoD is functioning responsibly, including through the development of clear standards, and to amend AI technology as needed220
Intellectual property strategyDirects DoD to develop an intellectual property strategy to enhance capabilities in procurement of emerging technologies and capabilities263
Study on establishment of centralized platform for development and testing of autonomy softwareDirects SecDef and CDAO to conduct a study, assessing the feasibility and advisability of developing a centralized platform to develop and test autonomous software.264
Congressional notification of changes to Department of Defense policy on autonomy in weapon systemsRequires that Congress be notified of changes to DoD Directive 3000.09 (on autonomy in weapons systems) within 30 days of any changes266
Sense of Congress on dual use innovative technology for the robotic combat vehicle of the ArmyThis offers support for the Army’s acquisition strategy for the Robot Combat Vehicle program, and recommends that the Army consider a similar framework for future similar programs.267
Pilot program on optimization of aerial refueling and fuel management in contested logistics environments through use of artificial intelligenceDirects CDAO, USD(A&S), and Air Force to develop a pilot program to optimize the logistics of aerial refueling and to consider the use of AI technology to help with this mission.266
Modification to acquisition authority of the senior official with principal responsibility for artificial intelligence and machine learningIncreases annual acquisition authority for CDAO from $75M to $125M, and extends this authority from 2025 to 2029.827
Framework for classification of autonomous capabilitiesDirects CDAO and others within DoD to establish a department-wide classification framework for autonomous capabilities to enable easier use of autonomous systems in the department.930

Funding Comparison. The following tables compare the funding requested in the President’s budget to funds that are authorized in current House and Senate versions of the NDAA. All amounts are in thousands of dollars.

Funding Comparison
ProgramRequestedAuthorized in HouseAuthorized in Senate
Other Procurement, Army–Engineer (non-construction) equipment: Robotics and Applique Systems68,89368,89368,893
AI/ML Basic Research, Army10,70810,70810,708
AI/ML Technologies, Army24,14224,14224,142
AI/ML Advanced Technologies, Army13,18715,687
(+ 2,500 for “Autonomous Long Range Resupply”)
(+ 5,000 for “Tactical AI & ML”)
AI Decision Aids for Army Missile Defense Systems Integration06,0000
Robotics Development, Army3,0243,0243,024
Ground Robotics, Army35,31935,31935,319
Applied Research, Navy: Long endurance mobile autonomous passive acoustic sensing research02,5000
Advanced Components, Navy: Autonomous surface and underwater dual-modality vehicles05,0000
Air Force University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)—Tactical Autonomy8,0188,0188,018
Air Force Applied Research: Secure Interference Avoiding Connectivity of Autonomous AI Machines03,0005,000
Air Force Advanced Technology Development: Semiautonomous adversary air platform0010,000
Advanced Technology Development, Air Force: High accuracy robotics02,5000
Air Force Autonomous Collaborative Platforms118,826176,013
(+ 75,000 for Project 647123: Air-Air Refueling TMRR,
-17,813 for Technical realignment )
(- 17,813 for DAF requested realignment of funds)
Space Force: Machine Learning Techniques for Radio Frequency (RF) Signal Monitoring and Interference Detection010,0000
Defense-wide: Autonomous resupply for contested logistics02,5000
Military Construction–Pennsylvania Navy Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia: AI Machinery Control Development Center088,20088,200
Intelligent Autonomous Systems for Seabed Warfare007,000
Funding for Office of Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer
ProgramRequestedAuthorized in HouseAuthorized in Senate
Advanced Component Development and Prototypes34,35034,35034,350
System Development and Demonstration615,245570,246
(-40,000 for “insufficient justification,” -5,000 for “program decrease.”)
Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation17,24717,24717,247
Senior Leadership Training Courses02,7500