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News | Feb. 7, 2022

GAMECHANGER: Where policy meets AI

By DIA Public Affairs

Did you know that if you read all the Department of Defense’s policies, it would be the equivalent of reading through “War and Peace” more than 100 times?  

For most people, policy is a tedious and illusive concept, making the idea of understanding and synthesizing tens of thousands of policy requirements a daunting task. But in the midst of the chaos that is the policy world, one DIA officer and a team at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security saw an opportunity.  

The result is what you could call, well, a game-changer.  

GAMECHANGER is an artificial intelligence and natural language processing application created with the purpose of improving the way DoD policymakers navigate the department’s mountain of policies and requirements. 

Jonathan Terrell of the Strategic Planning, Policy & Performance Management Office worked closely on this project during his rotation at OUSD(I&S) in 2019. Along with his OUSD(I&S) teammates, he worked to develop critical partnerships across DoD, such as with the DoD chief information officer, Washington Headquarters Services and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, to create and advance the initiative that became GAMECHANGER.  

Despite an understandable pause in the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GAMECHANGER has burst onto the scene, quickly gaining the attention of Congress and the Office of Management and Budget due to its ability to query, correlate and return specified higher guidance — enabling policymakers to move from statute to department regulations within seconds.  

GAMECHANGER is the first unclassified tool of its kind and is rapidly setting the precedent for how the Government utilizes advanced technology to process vast amounts of data. Though only recently launched, GAMECHANGER already contains policies from 27 major sources across the Government and has already been used by more than 6,000 users to conduct more than 100,000 queries.  

While the code was built by the DoD for the DoD, GAMECHANGER is already being utilized across the U.S. Government, and recently won an innovation award from the Office of Personnel Management.   

“Congress and OMB were particularly interested in the technology behind GAMECHANGER as a prototype for natural language processing and business intelligence across the Federal Government,” said Terrell.  

But to understand the landmark nature of GAMECHANGER, one must understand the importance of policy — namely, its role in shaping effective decision making. 

“Policy awareness is an essential component of effective leadership at all levels,” explained Terrell. “GAMECHANGER is transforming the way policymakers access, analyze and create guidance.” 

At DIA, GAMECHANGER specifically enables officers to understand their programs through the lens of higher guidance and helps the Agency focus on policy gaps and requirements. 

As GAMECHANGER evolves, it will continue to shape the policymaking landscape — preserving DoD resources, enabling missions at all levels, and inspiring innovative approaches to policies throughout the department.   

DoD personnel can access GAMECHANGER with their Common Access Card at