MIT and the Department of the Air Force aim to create a state-of-the-art, end-to-end, sustainable pipeline for Artificial Intelligence technology to give the United States a competitive advantage in the defense and civilian sectors. The AI Accelerator leverages universities, small businesses, traditional defense, and non-traditional commercial ventures, collaborating with the Air Force and Space Force to develop and ensure the ethical use of AI technologies for society and the nation.


In February 2019, the President of the United States signed Executive Order 13859 announcing the American AI Initiative—the nation’s strategy on Artificial Intelligence. He wrote, “Continued American leadership in Artificial Intelligence is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States.”

The Department of the Air Force (DAF) subsequently signed a cooperative agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to jointly create an Artificial Intelligence Accelerator hosted at MIT. The effort, known as the DAF-MIT AI Accelerator, leverages the combined expertise and resources of MIT and the Department of the Air Force. The AI Accelerator conducts fundamental research to enable rapid prototyping, scaling, and the ethical application of AI algorithms and systems to advance both the Department of the Air Force and society in general.  A multidisciplinary team of embedded officers and enlisted Airmen join MIT faculty, researchers, and students to tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing our nation and the Department of the Air Force, ranging from the technical to the humanitarian.

In January of 2020, the AI Accelerator launched ten interdisciplinary projects, involving researchers from MIT Campus, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and the Department of the Air Force. The three-year projects, which encompass a total of 15 research workstreams, advance AI research in a broad range of areas, including weather modeling and visualization, optimization of training schedules, and autonomy for augmenting and amplifying human decision-making.

The AI Accelerator’s historic partnership embraces a robust and ongoing dialogue with America’s leading academics and technologists to help guide an AI future for the Department of Air Force that reflects our nation’s values.