US Space Force Bans Use of Generative AI

The US Space Force has decided that generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) and large-language models can’t be used by employees of the space service.

As Bloomberg reports, an internal memo written by by Dr. Lisa A. Costa, first permanent Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of the US Space Force, was sent to the “Guardian Workforce” on Sept. 29. The memo explains how a temporary ban is now in place on such tools and until further notice. A spokesperson for Space Force referred to it as a “strategic pause.”

As to why a ban is required, Costa points to concerns over cybersecurity, data handling, and procurement requirements within the space service when relying on external/web-based AI tools. The ban is temporary because Costa admits generative AI “will undoubtedly revolutionize our workforce and enhance Guardian’s ability to operate at speed,” but needs to be used responsibly.

That suggests some kind of phased introduction with strict rules around the use of AI tools is required, and that’s going to take time to plan and implement. However, it’s an unusual decision when you consider at least 500 people at Space Force were using Ask Sage, which is a “secure and extensible” GPT platform catering to government and corporate teams created by former US Air Force chief software engineer Nicolas Chaillan.

Outside of work, Space Force employees will find it increasingly difficult to avoid using AI. Google recently announced that Assistant is getting a Bard generative AI upgrade, Microsoft is adding generative AI to the Windows 11 experience, and Amazon is investing billions in AI to improve the customer experience for all its services.

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