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Potomac Officers Club Hosts 2019 Artificial Intelligence Forum; Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley Gives Keynote Address

Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley

Potomac Officers Club hosted the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Forum on June 13th to bring the GovCon leaders from the public and private sector together to discuss the latest initiatives and challenges that federal agencies and industry are facing as AI technology continues to develop at an incredible rate.

The forum featured an expert panel and an opening keynote address from Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley, director of the Army Futures Command and the AI Task Force for the U.S. Army. After detailing the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) and changes to its infrastructure, Easley revealed that, “We quickly realized that as the age of artificial intelligence begins, the Army’s traditional weapons systems aren’t nearly fast enough to fight in this new age.”

As a result, there were more changes. Easley explained that AI is being added to a soldier’s toolbox and how the Army thinks about training has shifted to ensure U.S. soldiers aren’t fighting without the proper technology. Eventually, cyber became the transformational piece that forced the service branch to create an organizational structure to fight against cyber. For Easley, this revealed the necessary job skills for new positions in the service and that it would take a full team.

He became more active in AI implementation and modernization after learning how big a change the technology would be for the Army and Easley recognized the matter at hand was to push faster to implement these emerging technologies and converge with the right people or team to get the effects the Army needs at the right time and place.

“We can no longer do it the way that we’ve been doing it,” Easley argued. “The Army needs to evolve to become much faster, more dynamic and much more automated. The question becomes how do we move our troops more efficiently to put them in the right place at the right time to achieve the best results, he added.”

He continued that the Army is also using out of date data and searching for targets, threats and any potential changes on the battlefield almost completely at random. He elaborated that AI can be as efficient at helping to provide food and water wherever necessary and it comes down to data and the way data is processed to provide the information to the people that need it the most.

“Data is the new gold,” Easley stated matter of factly. He detailed that you need to understand and use the data that you have first and foremost. The process is to collect the data, move it into the system, put it in the cloud, monetize the data in the cloud and get it in the proper hands to be used properly. Over time, AI will be able to adapt to our soldiers’ needs and improve the process by which the U.S. military does almost everything. Easley admitted that there would be a lot of challenges to reach that point, but it’s an intriguing time and the Army will ultimately be better off.

Potomac Officers Club will host the 2019 Secure Supply Chain Forum on July 18th at the 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, Va. During the forum, GovCon and industry leaders from the public and private sectors will discuss how federal agencies protect, defend and secure supply chains from susceptible threats and the challenges that arise as technology becomes more fundamental.

Register for the 2019 Secure Supply Chain Forum right here.

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