Cover: Technology Innovation and the Future of Air Force Intelligence Analysis

Technology Innovation and the Future of Air Force Intelligence Analysis

Volume 2, Technical Analysis and Supporting Material

Published Jan 27, 2021

by Lance Menthe, Dahlia Anne Goldfeld, Abbie Tingstad, Sherrill Lingel, Edward Geist, Donald Brunk, Amanda Wicker, Sarah Lovell, Balys Gintautas, Anne Stickells, et al.


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Intelligence collections and demand have grown over the past two decades, and intelligence analysts are often performing routine tasks, leaving them unable to conduct larger strategic analyses that are needed to address future threats as outlined by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The authors provide an in-depth analysis of technologies that could help the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) become more effective, efficient, adept at using human capital, and agile. A key point is that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies alone do not solve these intelligence challenges; rather, if they are properly implemented and complemented by human analysts who have the right skills and training, the capabilities can allow the AF DCGS to evolve to better meet warfighter needs.

This is the second volume in a series about how AI/ML technology can help the AF DCGS meet the challenges of a demanding intelligence environment and the complexity of future threats envisioned by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The authors provide more in-depth discussion of project methodology; a primer on AI/ML technology; case studies of analytic challenges in previous operations; best practices for successfully deploying new technologies; and other topics of interest to specialists, stakeholders, and experts.

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The research described in this report was commissioned by U.S. Air Force/A2 and conducted by the Force Modernization and Employment Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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