Potomac Officers Club (POC) featured Alan Hansen, division director for intelligence systems and processing at the U.S. Army’s RDECOM Intelligence & Information Warfare Directorate, as a keynote speaker during POC’s ‘Weaponizing Data Across the Digital Battlefield’ Virtual Event on August 11th. If you missed the event, you can still register to watch the footage in Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.
Hansen gave the final keynote address of the event after informative and detailed keynote addresses from Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher and Brig. Gen. Rob Collins, and Leonel Garciga. All three prior speakers explored the progress the US Army has made in the modernization of the service branch’s network and software capabilities as well as the future of data, cloud and other emerging technologies to drive innovation for our nation’s warfighters and defense systems.
After being introduced by the event’s moderator Michael Davenport, senior vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton, Hansen emphasized the importance of the topics that MG Gallagher, BG Collins and Garciga had discussed previously during the event.
“These are particularly critical because we need to start modernizing the way we build our infrastructure and our foundation, he warned. As a member of the intelligence community, Hansen stressed that “data is the importance of our mission.”
He questioned how to enable data to ensure that the Army has the information it needs to handle the missions to come in the near future, which opened up the forum to the inevitable question that needed to be addressed.
Hansen began discussing the future and ‘where we are headed in the future?’ He noted that the goal is to ensure that our warfighter recieve the right information at the right time and in the right place? The use of old school, black box concepts will fade away for more agile, loosely coupled capabilities for our warfighters.
Hansen drove home the idea that analytic services wouldn’t be stored in a cloud somewhere, but would be distributed from a tactical and strategic standpoint. The purpose would be to serve our soldiers to provide them with the data and information then need to make the best decisions.
The address quickly turned to artificial intelligence where Hansen asked how will the Army effectively manage these analytics and services? He mentioned that the next big challenge will be how to and where to purpose them. “How do you bind those services to work collectively in the mission space?”
As that point took Hansen onto edge computing capabilities, he explained that will be the lowest common denominator for our foundation, but the most important element in the fight against our rivals because those tools will be in the hands of our warfighters.
“If we’re really looking to push machine learning to the edge to where I might want to collect data and actually have a device process that data and provide great feedback to our soldiers instead of us pushing the data all the way up into the enterprise and then have to push it back down the line on comms,” he explained.
Hansen questions how to get machine learning to work with analytic services to have the best data available to our warfighters as quickly as possible. However, he also stressed the critical part of maintaining these machine learning capabilities because they must be trained and have to be continuously addressed for changes or errors.
“All of those goals are important as we move beyond data and into analytic services, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities,” Hansen stated.
Following his initial words, Hasen took questions from Davenport and audience members regarding the major challenges of implementing edge computing and taking data to the edge as well as the shift of warfighters using analytical services over comms requirements.
Mark your calendars for Potomac Officers Club’s 5th Annual Army Forum on August 27th. Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, will serve as the keynote speaker at the forum.
During the 5th Annual Army Forum, Jette will discuss the progress, innovations and accomplishments of the Army’s modernization renaissance over the last year, what challenges remain, and how industry can help in 2021 and beyond.