U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is seen on a monitor while testifying during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing in Washington, D.C.  Credit: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty

As tech luminaries like Elon Musk issue solemn warnings about artificial intelligence’s threat of “civilizational destruction,” the U.S. military is using it for a decidedly more mundane purpose: understanding its sprawling $816.7 billion budget and figuring out its own policies.

Thanks to its bloat and political wrangling, the annual Department of Defense budget legislation includes hundreds of revisions and limitations telling the Pentagon what it can and cannot do. To make sense of all those provisions, the Pentagon created an AI program, codenamed GAMECHANGER. 

“In my comptroller role, I am, of course, the most excited about applying GAMECHANGER to gain better visibility and understanding across our various budget exhibits,” said Gregory Little, the deputy comptroller of the Pentagon, shortly after the program’s creation last year. 

“The fact that they have to go to such extraordinary measures to understand what their own policies are is an indictment of how they operate,” […]

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