The US Department of Defense (DoD) is considering developing an AI tool that will help the Pentagon estimate prices of critical minerals such as nickel and cobalt, according to media reports.
The tool could also be used to predict supplies of critical minerals and tackle the uncertainty that currently prevails in the global metal market.
The initiative, initially unveiled on a Pentagon website in October, garnered limited attention but plays a pivotal role in Washington's overarching strategy to revitalize U.S. production of crucial minerals essential for weapon manufacturing and the transition to renewable energy sources.
To develop the tool, DoD is working with its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) division, which, along with the U.S. Geological Survey, plans to hire one or more private contractors to develop the tool.
Traditionally, prices in the global metal market are determined by futures markets and pricing agencies. They mirror the willingness of buyers to pay and sellers to accept, considering factors such as supply, demand, and other market dynamics.
Notably, the Pentagon’s IT Division is developing an AI-powered chatbot like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is developing a technology that can take data from multiple sources, plug it into a database, and run a large language model on top of it.
The chatbot, however, is not designed to help defense personnel in mission-critical scenarios but to help assist captains with post-mission reports.