Leveraging AI to Make Latent Defense Data Usable

defense data

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Researchers evaluate that 99%-plus of the data that the US DoD collects is dark and was never exploited. Artificial intelligence powered by cloud computing and big data analytics may be the solution.

A new report from George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security argues that a September 2017 memo authorizing DoD officials to accelerate cloud adoption was done to lay the groundwork for a larger plan to unleash AI on the department’s vast data repositories. The cloud memo “was largely motivated for purposes of exploiting data, using and applying AI to a lot of our problems in defense,” the report states.

According to fcw.com, AI algorithms can potentially exploit and process data at a previously unseen scale. While speaking at a public administration conference, John Kamensky, a senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, said that the same underlying incentives driving technologies like cloud computing and big data analytics are also driving the hype around AI. “It is essentially the ability to take advantage of this massive amount of computing and storage computing power at our fingertips and the democratization of data itself,” Kamensky said.

The report also calls good data — specifically training data — “the feedstock of AI.” It argues that DoD’s proprietary, non-public data is a previously untapped resource that could give it a leg up on others when it comes to training its AI systems.

It’s not the first time the idea of leveraging AI to put DoD data stockpiles to use has been entertained. In October, the department’s CIO Essye Miller said that “we are hoarders” of data, and that there is “a natural inclination that we feel we have to keep everything.” She also indicated that the department was looking at AI in some form to make use of its latent data.