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The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence — which is tasked with researching ways to advance the development of AI for national security and defense purposes — released its initial report to Congress July 31.

The group was established under the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation required the commission to release an initial report to Congress within 180 days of the NDAA’s enactment.

The panel has 15 members, led by Chairman Eric Schmidt, the former head of Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Vice Chairman Robert O. Work, a former deputy secretary of defense who served in the Obama administration.

The initial report provided a summary of the group’s activities and its plans for the future but did not offer any recommendations to Congress.

The commission met and began to collaborate in March, with most of its staff appointed by late April, the report said. The panel — along with its professional staff of around 20 members — has so far surveyed the AI landscape and held three plenary meetings, one in Arlington, Virginia, and the remaining two in Cupertino, California, in Silicon Valley.

“At the first meeting, commissioners decided to meet in plenary every other month, and organize themselves into four working groups focused on key areas to examine in detail,” the report said. “Each working group meets monthly, and will enumerate objectives, assess current challenges and develop recommendations for consideration by the entire commission.”

The focus of the working groups will include: maintaining U.S. global leadership in artificial intelligence research; maintaining global leadership in AI national security applications; preparing citizens for an AI future; and international competitiveness and cooperation, according to the report.

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