FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 5, 2019 VA launches National Artificial Intelligence Institute WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII) for advancing the health and well-being of Veterans, as part of the commemoration of National Veterans and Military Families Month in November. The new NAII is incorporating input from Veterans and its partners across federal agencies, industry, nonprofits and academia, to prioritize and realize artificial intelligence (AI) research and development that is meaningful to Veterans and the public. “VA has a unique opportunity to be a leader in artificial intelligence,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s artificial intelligence institute will usher in new capabilities and opportunities that will improve health outcomes for our nation’s heroes.” VA is an ideal environment for advancing AI technology to benefit Veterans. It is the most extensive integrated health care system in the country and is home to the Million Veteran Program – the world’s biggest genomic knowledge base linked to health care information. VA also serves as the nation’s largest training system for physicians and nurses. VA uses AI to reduce Veterans’ wait times, identify those at high risk for suicide, to help doctors interpret the results of cancer lab tests and to choose effective therapies. AI uses computers to simulate human thinking, especially in applications involving large amounts of data. It is also being leveraged in the commercial technology sector and is seeing early uses in health care. NAII is a joint initiative between VA’s Office of Research and Development and Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships. It will design, execute and collaborate on large-scale initiatives and national strategy, and build on the American AI Initiative and the National AI R&D Strategic Plan. Learn more about NAII and the director, Dr. Gil Alterovitz.