DHS CIO Eric Hysen reveals new GenAI strategies and model development, enhancing operations and future work adaptation.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is advancing its technological prowess, especially in GenAI. DHS Chief Information Officer, Eric Hysen, recently articulated the department’s dual approach to GenAI: leveraging commercial models and developing in-house capabilities. This strategy aligns with the broader government perspective on AI technology, as outlined in the White House’s AI executive order.

Under Hysen’s direction, DHS has introduced specific policies for utilizing commercial GenAI tools. A recent memo, dated Oct. 24, emphasizes the responsible use of these tools, including applications like ChatGPT and DALL-E2, to enhance departmental efficiency. The policy encourages personnel to employ GenAI for tasks such as document drafting and research synthesis, which Hysen himself has found beneficial.

Simultaneously, DHS is not shying away from innovation. They’re actively experimenting with building their own large language models. This initiative aims to explore various AI facets, including proprietary and open-source models, deployed across different technical environments. Hysen’s vision is to foster a learning culture within DHS to fully leverage GenAI’s potential in supporting their mission.

This push towards GenAI adoption predates the White House’s directive. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, recognizing the technology’s transformative potential, has been instrumental in this shift. He envisions GenAI as a key asset in reducing routine workload and enhancing focus on critical security missions.