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Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger on Zero Trust, Ethical AI

The U.S. Air Force is “very serious” about its enterprise-wide adoption of zero trust, among other key priorities across the service’s technology roadmap, according to Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger.

Currently, in alignment with a host of recent policy measures from the White House, the Air Force is undergoing a digital transformation and modernization push in order to better equip its operators and warfighters to fight and win in today’s tense global landscape. 

The service’s zero trust implementation is just one part of a broader goal to increase all domain command and control capabilities while ensuring readiness for a wide range of potential combat scenarios as adversarial threats increase.

“We are really getting our house in order when it comes to identity, software-defined wide area networks, being able to grab whatever communication signal we have from anywhere and being able to dynamically route signals,” said Knausenberger, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, at a February AFCEA event.

The Air Force is also deploying artificial intelligence solutions to support its warfighters, but the service’s primary focus now is on using the technology ethically.

At a NVIDIA conference in March, Knausenberger explained that her approach is to always keep a human in the loop when it comes to using AI.

“First, we have to be using AI responsibly so humans remain responsible for the decisions, we can leverage the data from AI, we have to minimize unintended bias, make AI as equitable as we possibly can, we have to ensure that it is traceable, we have to ensure it is reliable, and also that it is governable,” Knausenberger shared. “And none of these things are easy.”

Learn more about the technology priorities, acquisition strategies, policy measure and innovations driving CIOs across the public and private sectors during the Potomac Officers Club’s highly-anticipated 3rd Annual CIO Summit on April 26.

Defense Department CIO and Acting Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer John Sherman is scheduled to keynote the in-person summit.

Seats are limited – register today to save your spot!

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