Executive Mosaic is excited to announce that Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), has been selected as a recipient of the 2021 Wash100 Award for the first time in his more than 25 year career in the federal sector.
Groen has earned his first Wash100 Award for leading JAIC to advance artificial intelligence capabilities and initiatives across the federal sector. Under his vision, AI technology will be utilized to develop greater warfighter tech and decision making while also driving enterprise systems development for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. military.
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Following fellow two-time Wash100 Award recipient Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan’s retirement in Aug. 2020, Groen was nominated and confirmed as JAIC’s next director in Oct. 2020 and received the rank of lieutenant general with the position. His long history of working with military technology and intelligence provide him with the knowledge and vision to catapult JAIC’s development and long-term growth.
Since his appointment, Lt. Gen. Groen has been responsible for spearheading the development of emerging technologies. JAIC will use AI to solve large and complex problem sets that span multiple services; then, ensure the services and components have real-time access to ever-improving libraries of data sets and tools.
Out of the gate as JAIC Director, Groen announced his expectation that the Joint Common Foundation (JCF) platform would start providing simple services in 2021, which came to fruition in March 2021. He announced that JCF had reached “initial operating capability” to begin coding a platform to assist the U.S. military build its own artificial intelligence models.
“The JCF is live, we have the tools, we are starting to develop, we are starting to host data, we are starting to host algorithms,” Groen said. “We hope to grow that into full operating capability. Every month we want to add more services.” “We think that is a key tool to broad enablement across the department in the transformation of AI,” Groen emphasized.
“We have to think about enterprise effects, decision tools that derive from massive data flows and integrated infrastructure that allows any sensor to inform any decision maker or any sensor to inform any system,” Groen
He urged DOD to pursue a comprehensive approach to transform large-scale AI implementation projects and noted that the private sector could support the department in national security missions using the technology.
In addition, Groen has highlighted the importance of JAIC to develop partnerships with academia and industry to help meet the defense-focused AI objectives as stated in the final NSCAI report.
Groen explained that process owners needed to acknowledge that AI is not tomorrow’s technology, but today’s technology. He also warned that AI security and ethics were crucial and JAIC needs to “appreciate the scope of the problem sets.”
Shortly after becoming JAIC Director, Groen argued that more computers and other resources could help JAIC accelerate efforts to exploit DoD’s large datasets and bring AI tools to warfighters faster. Groen said he believes AI could help combatant commanders make decisions on the battlefield and transform DoD’s strategies, planning and operations.
“I think with leadership from the top within the Department that’s really focused on: ‘Okay, we agree that artificial intelligence and information-age decision-making can really facilitate our transformation and it’s necessary.’ With leadership that’s focused like that, we’ll get to where we want to go,” Groen said.
Executive Mosaic would like to congratulate Lt. Gen. Michael Groen for receiving the most prestigious award in all of government contracting (GovCon). His leadership as the director of JAIC and vision for the future of AI technology will have a major impact on the federal sector for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
Don’t miss Groen’s upcoming keynote address during the Potomac Officers Club’s 3rd Annual Artificial Intelligence Summit on March 30th. The summit will foster discussions and provide genuine insight from the key executives driving AI technology on how collaboration with civilian agencies and international allies is vital to the development and implementation of AI standards that promote interoperability, dependability and trustworthiness.