DVIDS – News – DAFIA uses artificial intelligence to transform inspections



The Department of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland AFB, NM, uses artificial intelligence, in the form of machine learning, to identify emerging issues of concern to Airmen and enable the Air Force to isolate them, to answer them and resolve them as soon as possible. as possible.

Based on lessons learned from previous inspections, DAFIA’s Business Support Division asked AFWERX, an Air Force Research Laboratory program office that connects innovators from government, industry and the community university, to seek suppliers likely to solve this problem.

Lt. Col. Kent Moore, Corporate Data Manager in DAFIA’s Analysis and Evaluation Division, explained the initial driver of the growing effort and described the process so far.

“A few years ago, DAFIA conducted a short-term inspection at 10 facilities to assess the military privatized housing issues identified to the Air Force by Congress. Afterwards, DAFIA analysts began to wonder why Congress had asked the Air Force to address the concerns of airmen and their families residing in military housing. There were indicators in other studies and surveys that the problem was significant, but the sheer volume of information sources made data synthesis a challenge. The tool being prototyped for DAFIA will do it very quickly. Our team submitted a formal request to AFWERX and gave them some parameters. Three companies were interested and each received $ 50,000 in AFWERX Phase I Small Business Innovation funding to develop concepts to solve the DAFIA problem. Versionista LLC produced the most promising results and, in August 2021, received an AFWERX Phase II award of $ 750,000 as part of a prototype development and evaluation contract. If it’s okay with us at the end of this 15 month phase, we will explore a Phase III contract to apply the capacity within the IG business.

AFWERX, according to its website, “Through innovation and collaboration with the country’s top subject matter experts, harnesses the power of ingenuity by developing technology, talent and bridging partnerships for business capabilities. and fast and affordable military. AFWERX is making the transition to agile, affordable and accelerated capabilities by pairing innovative technology developers with aviator and guard talent. AFVentures, the business investment arm of the Air Force, creates simple pathways for business innovators and private equity investments to help the Air Force solve problems.

Moore spoke about the data DAFIA initially provided to the contractor and the somewhat surprising results the agency received in response.

“We provided them with several years of unit effectiveness inspection data, as well as data from the 2019 Military Career Decisions Survey. After analyzing free text, they created several word clouds. An unexpected word that popped up was “lactation”. Versionista used his model – machine learning – and he took it back. It shows you the usefulness of this tool that we are building. We are getting more data for Versionista to analyze through the Air Force Survey Office.

He said his team’s goal with the project is to be able to analyze official surveys, blogs, websites, social media, traditional media and other data sources, to capture issues of interest. general for aviators and submit them to decision-makers. as soon as possible, so that they can be processed.

Peter Bray, CEO of Versionista, the Oregon-based software company that works with DAFIA, said his company is building a tool that harnesses artificial intelligence to identify emerging areas of concern.

“These issues, such as housing privatized by the military and others, are difficult to detect by conventional means and can have a serious impact on the morale and readiness of Airmen. Versionista automates machine comprehension of large free-form texts from surveys and other sources. We use AI to bring out distinct and emerging topics. Dealing with tens of thousands of entry pages is beyond the capabilities of human readers and many analytical techniques today. As an early warning system, Versionista correlates emerging topics with programs, locations and other related aspects to better understand root causes, ”said Bray.

Date taken: 20.10.2021
Date posted: 20.10.2021 13:25
Story ID: 407626
Site: ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, United States

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