DHS Launches Hiring Push for New AI Corps

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is on the lookout for AI experts as it initiates a significant recruitment drive. Aimed at bolstering their technological capabilities, the DHS announced on Tuesday its plans to hire 50 new specialists dedicated to artificial intelligence this year alone.

This ambitious recruitment effort signals the formation of the DHS’s brand-new AI Corps. Drawing inspiration from the prestigious U.S. Digital Service situated in the White House, the AI Corps will be nested within the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. Their mission is to spearhead AI-related projects spanning various facets of the agency’s operations.

“Now is the time for tech experts to make a real difference for our country and join the federal government,” declared Eric Hysen, the DHS’s Chief Information Officer and Chief AI Officer. Through his statement, Hysen underscored the urgency and the faster-than-ever recruitment pace the DHS is adopting to meet its technological needs.

The DHS’s strategic hiring move leverages new, flexible government hiring authorities specifically tailored for AI. This approach is part of a broader effort to streamline the recruitment process and attract top talent in the field.

The initiative follows closely on the heels of a comprehensive executive order on AI launched by the White House. This directive encompasses a wide spectrum of guidelines for agencies, both in the utilization and regulation of AI technologies. Experts agree that bolstering the government’s AI expertise through fresh hires and further training of current employees is foundational for the success of these endeavors.

DHS is seeking candidates with a robust background in product development and integration, alongside deep knowledge in AI and machine learning technologies. These positions, which offer the ability to work remotely, are classified at the GS-15 level, emphasizing the significance of the roles. It’s worth noting that previous government experience is not a prerequisite, nor is a traditional government-style resume.

The push for an AI-dedicated team isn’t entirely new territory for the DHS. Indeed, the department previously established an AI Task Force in the spring of last year, which has since concentrated on various critical areas. Among these are efforts to reduce fentanyl trafficking, enhance supply chain cybersecurity, protect crucial infrastructure, and combat child exploitation.

In practical terms, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has already implemented a machine learning model designed to identify suspicious patterns in vehicle crossings. This model aids in executing more precise second checks at entry ports, playing a crucial role in the fight against fentanyl and other drug trafficking. Additionally, AI technologies have been deployed across the agency to pinpoint sexual exploitation offenders and victims and to swiftly process disaster imagery to facilitate aid delivery to those in need.

“As artificial intelligence becomes more powerful and more accessible than ever before, government needs the support and expertise of our country’s foremost AI experts,” stated Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. His statement further emphasizes the necessity for skilled personnel to responsibly manage AI’s expanding capabilities, protect against its malicious use, and propel forward the vital mission of homeland security.

To kickstart this extensive hiring campaign, both Mayorkas and Hysen were present in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday. Their visit, in collaboration with the DHS customer experience office, seeks to spark interest and draw in the brightest minds in the field of artificial intelligence, marking a significant milestone in the agency’s ongoing technological evolution.

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