For the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure victory in future battles, the use of digital technologies will be crucial. To prepare for the digitally-driven challenges ahead, the DoD and Marine Corps are working to modernize legacy systems to ensure the success of the warfighter. Perhaps the most important step in this digital transformation journey will be to implement a network that can integrate, share, and manage data, all while leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI). AI will not only make the warfighter faster but more efficient. Recently, our colleagues at GovDataDownload dove into this topic with commentary from Brigadier General Christian Wortman, Vice Chief of Naval Research and Commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
Earlier this month at Sea Air Space 2019, Brigadier General Christian Wortman, discussed the Marine Corps’ approach to AI and how it will impact common tasks. There is a lot of room for experimentation when it comes to AI implementations and through pilot testing, the Marines “are doing a great deal of learning right now,” according to Brig. Gen. Wortman. “You can’t approach artificial intelligence, robotics, or autonomous systems in isolation,” he said. “You have to think about the network, the cloud, and data storage strategy. And you have to take into account the data that you are harvesting through AI tools and implement an effective data strategy simultaneously.”
By using AI and developing a stronger data strategy, the Marines are aiming to “become more effective and reduce risk to the warfighter, operate at greater speeds, be more persistent and we can distribute our capabilities by taking advantage of artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems.”
In practice, the Marines are looking to incorporate AI and autonomous systems in the areas of long-range precision fires, information warfare, electronic warfare, intelligence, and surveillance, according to Wortman. While use cases have been identified and there is significant opportunity, successful deployment requires a foundational investment. “The network, the data strategy, the development of the actual tools, the algorithms, the AI engines, and then the training and the education foundation has to be a complement or support to realizing the full potential of these capabilities,” Wortman added.
The future of AI is bright for the Marine Corps as they continue to modernize and transform their strategic IT environment. The key to success is ensuring that foundational investments are made in the near future so that they can access, analyze, and apply the data as part of an overarching strategy.