Systems Engineering (SE) is undergoing a digital transformation that will lead to further transformational advances in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technology to automate many routine engineering tasks. At the same time, applying AI, ML, and autonomy to complex and critical systems encourages new systems engineering methods, processes, and tools.
To address this current and evolving reality, The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (CCDC AC) Systems Engineering Directorate (SED) and the Systems Engineering Research Center jointly sponsored the inaugural Artificial Intelligence for Systems Engineering/Systems Engineering for Artificial Intelligence (AI4SE/SE4AI) workshop on October 28-29. 2020. This two-day virtual event gathered members of the Government, Academic and Industry communities to learn from leaders already using AI in this space and share ideas focused on the workshop’s main objective: how to define relevant SE and AI challenges, areas of exploration and methodologies to use, and ways in which to collaborate and research in the upcoming years.
The total 15 presentations focused on relevant topics within the areas of Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI), Artificial Intelligence for Systems Engineering (AI4SE), Systems Engineering for Artificial Intelligence (SE4AI), and Digital Engineering (DE). A unifying theme was the increasing need for organizations and systems to be agile to keep up with the dynamic nature of AI in order to achieve the ultimate goal of delivering the most relevant and effective tools to the soldier in the field. Essential areas for focus emerged, notably: the importance of data—its acquisition, analysis and maintenance; the need to update business processes, including workforce development and retention; and the importance of collaboration.
The SERC and CCDC AC intend to organize a follow-on workshop in 2021 to explore specific outcomes from this initial 2020 meeting. The intended goal will be to curate panel discussions and facilitate group breakout sessions that produce actionable applications of AI4SE and SE4AI as well as relevant research ideas.