The US Air Force’s innovation arm, DIUx (Defense Innovation Unit Experimental), has awarded a contract to SparkCognition for a project to speed up decision-making using machine learning and data analytics.

The aim is to spot trends and patterns across Air Force data and apply this to the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE) process. The PPBE process is how the Department of Defense (DoD) allocates resources.

“The order of magnitude of greater increase in the speed and accuracy of budgetary decisions will revolutionise how the Air Force, and potentially the DoD as a whole, conducts business,” said General John AllenUSMC (Ret.), and Executive Board Member of SparkCognition. “We are honoured to be serving the US Air Force in a way that will have a substantial and positive impact on planning and process. The advantage here is that SparkCognition’s solutions are universally applicable, and can be applied to other DoD service components as well as every department and agency within the US Government.”

Decision simulation

Using US Air Force data, SparkCognition’s technology will conduct macro- and micro-level analysis of operations and outcomes to simulate the impact of any single decision, or multiple decisions. Subsequent phases of this project will look at refining SparkCognition’s model with additional data and testing scenarios; collaborating with the US Air Force on UI design; and integrating with Air Force enterprise relational databases.

Tim Stefanick, Director of Federal Operations at SparkCognition, said: “SparkCognition’s platform will enable the Air Force to reduce operating costs through improved enterprise-level decision-making, resource allocation intelligence, situational prediction, and operational optimisation.”

He added: “We are customising an AI engine for the Air Force to provide actionable insights and behaviour predictions. Together, SparkCognition and DIUx will transform operations for a new era of efficiency and confidence.”