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DHS Official John Cohen Keynotes GovCon Wire Events’ AI: Innovation in Homeland Security Forum

GovCon Wire Events hosted its AI: Innovation in Homeland Security Forum on Thursday which gathered private industry and government officials to discuss how cutting-edge AI technology is shaping the nation’s homeland security priorities, goals and general strategy as well as the role industry can play in the future of countering foreign adversaries and domestic threats.

John Cohen, senior official performing the duties of the DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, acted as the Forum’s keynote speaker to share his invaluable insights on how DHS is leveraging artificial intelligence to stay ahead of emerging threats in an evolving digital world.

Following a brief introduction by Mark D’Alessandro, senior director of Dell Technologies’ Federal business unit, who served as the forum’s moderator, John Cohen began his opening keynote address to examine the burgeoning challenges currently influencing homeland security.

If you missed today’s Forum, check out the GovCon Wire Events page to watch AI: Innovation in Homeland Security Forum and other recent GovCon Events on-demand.

Due to the rise of extremist activity infiltrating online platforms, Cohen began his opening remarks sharing that the current threat environment facing the nation is becoming a lot more “complex, diverse, volatile and subject to rapid change” than he has experienced over his three decades of experience in law enforcement and the intelligence community.

Cohen explained that one of the most notable trends which has evolved significantly has been the threat of lone offenders who consume a broad spectrum of online content and are inspired by extremist beliefs to engage in violent activity.

Additionally, he noted that the DHS and the FBI have identified new threats to our national security have moved increasingly online and that government organizations must utilize cutting-edge technologies and modernized systems to better anticipate potential attacks.

Paraphrasing his colleague, Rutgers University professor Jeffrey Lane, Cohen explained, “We used to think of that which took place on the digital street as simply a reflection of the physical world, but what’s important to remember is that the physical street and the digital street are now intertwined.”

As Cohen continued, he detailed what this digital/physical intertwining means for security organizations that are working to evaluate the toxicity and resonance of online narratives in order to take steps in the physical world to minimize the risk of threats.

Though federal agencies are striving to stay ahead of the curve regarding national security, Cohen emphasized that there is still plenty of room for improvement, education and innovation that advanced technology and artificial intelligence can help provide to identify and mitigate threats.

Cohen said, “There is a growing recognition across the government, in the intelligence community and in the law enforcement community, that we need to do more, and we need to be able to leverage the advanced computing capabilities that are having an impact on broad elements of our society.”

To hear John Cohen’s full keynote address, including Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation findings and the identification of other threats abroad, visit GovCon Wire’s Events page, where you can watch the full AI: Innovation in Homeland Security Forum on-demand.

On Tuesday, October 12th, GovCon Wire Events will host its Defense Acquisition Priorities Forum which will bring together significant federal and industry leaders to discuss the acquisition goals and strategies that DOD is focusing on to advance the world-class warfighting capabilities for our military branches.

Christopher O’Donnell, acting assistant secretary of defense for acquisition Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition (ASD-A), will deliver the keynote address for the

Forum to provide a full breakdown of the top priorities that DOD is driving and how industry can help drive the speed of innovation for our government organizations.

Visit GovCon Wire Events to register for the platform’s Defense Acquisition Priorities Forum on October 12th.

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