ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson announced a contract with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 20, focused on accelerating artificial intelligence technologies through fundamental research in computational intelligence, reasoning, decision-making, autonomy and relevant societal implications.

The agreement includes selecting 11 airmen for a research and development collaboration team designed to field practical AI solutions for real-world, national security challenges.

Beginning this summer, the combined officer and enlisted team representing various Air Force career fields, is expected to work with researchers at MIT to harness the university’s student talent, renowned faculty and state-of-the art facilities and laboratories.

“MIT is a leading institution for AI research, education and application, making this a huge opportunity for the Air Force as we deepen and expand our scientific and technical enterprise. Drawing from one of the best of American research universities is vital,” Wilson said.

The partnership will address a broad range of AI projects such as decision support, maintenance and logistics, talent management, medical readiness, situational awareness, business operations and disaster relief.

“This collaboration is very much in line with MIT’s core value of service to the nation,” said Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research and the E.A. Griswold professor of geophysics. “MIT researchers who choose to participate will bring state-of-the-art expertise in AI to advance Air Force mission areas and help train Air Force personnel in applications of AI.”

As part of its Science and Technology Strategy, the Air Force launched a number of similar partnerships with higher education institutions around the U.S., each with a different focus area underscoring the Air Force’s emphasis on driving innovation through government, academic and private sector partnerships.

The Air Force plans to invest approximately $15 million per year as it builds upon its five-decade long relationship with MIT.