MITRE Opens New AI Assurance and Discovery Lab

MAR 25, 2024


U.S. Sen. Warner, Reps. Beyer and Connolly join MITRE to open new facility for discovering and managing risks in AI-enabled systems.

McLean, Va., March 25, 2024 – While artificial intelligence (AI) can transform government operations, decision makers need confidence that AI-enabled systems will operate effectively with acceptable levels of risk before adopting them. MITRE was joined by Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Donald Beyer, and Rep. Gerry Connolly as it opened its AI Assurance and Discovery Lab today with the mission to discover and mitigate critical risks in AI-enabled systems that need to operate in increasingly complex, uncertain, and high-stakes environments.

“Government use of AI will have consequential impacts on the nation and world, in areas such as efficient transportation, effective healthcare, and strengthened national security,” said Charles Clancy, MITRE senior vice president and chief technology officer. “However, in adopting these systems, we also need to mitigate risks. Providing an independent assessment of the security, safety, and efficacy of AI systems will play a critical role toward helping government and business integrate new technology in benefits processing, intelligence analysis, autonomous vehicles, and more. This lab will demonstrate a repeatable engineering approach and infrastructure that could serve as a blueprint for a national network of AI assurance facilities.”

MITRE defines AI assurance as a process for discovering, assessing, and managing risk throughout the lifecycle of an AI-enabled system so that it operates effectively to the benefit of its stakeholders and end users. The new AI Assurance and Discovery Lab will evaluate AI-enabled systems intended for use in consequential applications including national security, healthcare, and transportation. Government agencies can also use the lab to inform requirements development for new AI-enabled systems, create and evaluate proposed risk mitigation plans, and develop long-term AI assurance strategies for their organizations.

The lab, which is based at MITRE’s McLean, Virginia, headquarters, features configurable space for risk discovery in simulated environments, AI red teaming, large language model evaluation, human-in-the-loop experimentation, and assurance plan development. The lab’s physical space can be tailored and instrumented for specific mission scenarios and workflows.

“For federal agencies and private companies, this new lab delivers an objective, independent analysis to complement and validate their own testing and evaluation of AI-enabled systems, helping establish confidence for end users,” said Cedric Sims, MITRE senior vice president. “Ensuring that AI provides transformational benefits for our government sponsors is a top priority as we solve problems for a safer world.”

MITRE’s team of scientists and engineers includes expertise in computational sciences, linguistics, robotics, human cognitive science, systems neuroscience, and government mission domains. Federal agencies, and soon private companies, can bring AI-enabled systems to the lab to explore potential risks including whether they perform effectively, consistently, and safely in real-world contexts. MITRE will also use the lab to evaluate factors such as whether systems are secure and free from harmful bias, and allow users to control how their information is used.

Members of Virginia’s U.S. Congressional Delegation Join MITRE at AI Lab Opening 

“The opening of MITRE’s AI Assurance and Discovery Lab is an exciting development in the most fertile frontier of technological progress—extracting maximum value from AI while mitigating some of its risks,” said Sen. Mark Warner. “We need to have an all-hands-on-deck approach to studying and unleashing the potential of AI, and I look forward to seeing the discoveries and progress the lab will be able to make in this critical field.”

“The emergence and evolution of new technologies like AI have led us to the brink of an exciting future,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly. “As we seek to embrace AI safely and with the proper guardrails in place, ventures like MITRE’s AI Assurance and Discovery Lab will be invaluable to our efforts across government. I am thrilled to be part of this grand opening, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the lab and its goal of advancing AI for the public good.”

“As federal agencies leverage the utility of AI to help fulfill their missions, I’m thrilled to see Northern Virginia continue to lead the way on tech innovation,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “The grand opening of MITRE’s AI Assurance and Discovery Lab, which will support the secure implementation of advanced AI systems in federal agencies, is another step forward for our region’s leadership in research and applied sciences.”

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Jeremy Singer,