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The U.S. Military's Investments Into Artificial Intelligence Are Skyrocketing

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 29: Aerial view of the Pentagon building. Credit - Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

U.S. government spending on artificial intelligence has exploded in the past year, driven by increased military investments, according to a report by the Brookings Institution, a think tank based in Washington D.C.

The report found that the potential value of AI-related federal contracts increased by almost 1,200%, from $355 million in the period leading up to August 2022, to $4.6 billion in the period leading up to August 2023.

This increase was almost entirely driven by the Department of Defense (DoD). The total amount committed by the DoD to AI-related contracts increased from $190 million in the period leading up to August 2022 to $557 million in the period leading up to August 2023.

The total that the DoD might spend on AI-related contracts if each contract were extended to its fullest terms grew even faster, from $269 million in the period leading up to August 2022 to $4.3 billion in the period leading up to August 2023. This potential surge in military spending was so large that “all other agencies become a rounding error,” the report's authors note.

Write to Will Henshall at will.henshall@time.com.