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Dr. Marie Sandrock Leads SCO’s Mission to Integrate AI Technology Into Military Operations

Dr. Marie Sandrock, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office, oversees SCO’s mission to develop new and innovative technologies to shape and counter emerging threats across all domains, bringing game-changing capabilities to the Joint Force.

As SCO’s deputy director, Dr. Sandrock’s top priority for research and engineering is artificial intelligence and machine learning. In September, ExecutiveGov reported that SCO had identified programs that could use AI to assist military operations. Currently, SCO is capitalized in the field with many autonomous projects in development. SCO Director Chris Shank has said almost a third of the office’s projects cover AI, machine learning or autonomous technology.

“The department needs to innovate at the ‘speed of relevance’ to outmatch Russia and China as directed by the NDS [National Defense Strategy],” Dr. Sandrock told GovConWire. “The operational tempo in dealing with China and Russia as near-peer competitors is much faster than in the past. Similar to Russia not allowing us multiple months of uninterrupted time to amass forces from distant depots and bases, the acquisition community cannot expect to wait a decade for new capabilities to be deployed and updated – sooner or later, your adversary will be as lethal as you, so we must constantly be looking at ways to upgrade our capabilities.”

Dr. Marie Sandrock will be featured as a keynote speaker for the Potomac Officers Club’s 5th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit on January 15th. The event will focus on defense R&D plans, priorities, challenges and how the industry is working to make changes and reach other significant milestones.

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