First Air Force Enlisted MIT AI Accelerator Fellow

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma
  • 70 ISR Wing Public Affairs
With a current selection of 2% of applicants, Senior Airman Dhruv Gupta is one of two enlisted military members to be chosen to work with the Department of the Air Force-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Accelerator as a pilot program.
Gupta, an Analytic Developer, is a technical/operational expert chosen from the Department of the Defense, brought to MIT to work with the foremost minds in academia on cutting edge AI, Machine Learning Research and Development for common good and national security use cases. 
“It gave me the opportunity to share my technical knowledge while simultaneously offering and giving me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of AI,” said Gupta. “[It is] a one-of-a-kind career-broadening experience.”
Due to the results of his work, along with another fellow airman, MIT decided to establish a full-fledged program. Once members are accepted into the program, the members are assigned there for four months.
“The fact that they [MIT] want take the time to mentor their airmen, their level of involvement and actionable impact they get, they are very selective on the people they choose,” said Gupta.
Not only were Gupta and his team accepted to the MIT AI program, they won the Advanced Battle Management System Weapons and Tactics Conference Hackathon.
“It was the first known DoD-wide classified innovation hackathon, headed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer,” said Gupta. “Hackathons are innovation events commonly employed by security communities and technology companies, in which teams self-form and develop working prototypes urgently in response to challenges often accompanied with data.”
Gupta and his team competed against other Airmen and over 10 different industry companies, for a total of over 100 people. Contestants were pilots, weapons officers, hackers, data scientists, product managers, and engineers.
“[We] created an automated and optimized tool to help mission planners best route blue aircrafts to red targets on the ground based on information contained in the Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List (JIPTL),” said Gupta.
The event was sponsored by senior DoD leaders, providing technical and cultural innovation environments that enable government and industry to test and validate bold ideas on real DoD data to reach the overarching goal of ABMS/JADC2 (Joint All-Domain Command and Control).
“Since joining the AF in Dec 2019, SrA Gupta has taken advantage of every opportunity given to him and grown new and exciting opportunities for himself and others around him,” said Senior Master Sgt. Amber Isenberg, 35th Intelligence Squadron Operations Superintendent. “He’s not only been able to expand his knowledge, but he’s passionate about teaching others about AI and how to rethink data to make their mission easier and more effective.”