The Florida Institute for National Security (FINS) is an interdisciplinary, cross-curricular initiative to galvanize the robust research efforts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) already underway at the University of Florida (UF). As such, FINS is transforming into the nation’s leading hub for applied AI in support of national security, both domestic and abroad. FINS emerges in support of UF’s AI Initiative to make AI the centerpiece of a major, long-term push to synthesizes world-class research infrastructure, cutting-edge research, and a transformational approach to curriculum. FINS extends this mission to the development of deployable applied AI in support of the most challenging and pressing national security issues, such as transportation, economy, infrastructure, supply chain, ecological and climate threats, and economic and other threats from other nations. As such, FINS will serve as a globally renowned strategic asset for research and development of AI’s application and solutions to national security problems.
FINS and UF strive to be nationally recognized as the premier provider of AI talent for the national security and defense communities and innovation leaders for AI-enabled national security. In coordination with UF’s AI Initiative, FINS leads UF in workforce development for the classified community. To do so, FINS stands at the fore of the development of facilities and programs to enable new avenues of funded research and to secure internships and co-ops with defense and national security agencies, other federal agencies, the government contractors who support the government, and for UF’s students, the next generation of the AI workforce. The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI)—a bipartisan commission of 15 technologists, national security professionals, business executives, and academic leaders—recently published a report which identifies the increasing need for a digitally-literate workforce, specifically an AI-literate workforce. FINS, in coordination with UF’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): AI Across the Curriculum, will work to provide UF students the AI skills and experience needed to lead this next-generation workforce in support of the now evident need to improve and increase domestic talent in AI work, particularly AI work tied to national security.