Brigham Bechtel, Chief Strategy Officer for Defence and Intelligence at MarkLogic writes for Defence Online as we continue our cyber focus for November.
With the emergence of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing, new questions are rising about the role of the OODA Loop (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act), developed by US Air Force Colonel and military strategist John Boyd, in mission-critical operations.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the defence and intelligence community to collect, manage and analyse data because it is mounting at an increasingly rapid pace. To deal with this challenge, government agencies are exploring artificial intelligence as a solution to help integrate vast amounts of data across silos to support data-based decision making.
Several major organisations are currently bidding to provide the US military with artificial intelligence and cloud computing services as part of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure plan. Similarly, the UK Royal Navy recently announced a partnership between the Royal Marines Commando and a specialist artificial intelligence solutions provider – a development which highlights the focus of the UK Government’s Modernising Defence Programme on artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous systems.
The importance of quality data to support the processing capabilities of artificial intelligence in capturing data and completing analysis is often overlooked. Artificial intelligence is only as powerful as the data which it pulls from; it must be both accurate and complete because bad data leads to bad intelligence.
There are four principal considerations when it comes to assessing the readiness of data for artificial intelligence and machine learning:
Is the data secure?
Artificial intelligence offers many advantages, but amidst the buzz, it is easy to neglect the importance of security. Secure means more than protection against cyber-attacks; data must be incorruptible and safe from bad actors. Data must be stored with the capabilities for granular levels of control including who can access what data, when, and for how long.
Is the data well-governed?
Good data governance assures provenance and lineage while providing transparency into the movement of data as well as how and by whom it is changed over time. Well-governed data ensures that the right people are accessing the right data as it moves and is transformed.
Is the data in silos?
Securely accessing and sharing data from silos and legacy systems is a major pain point for both the public and private sector. When data is stuck in silos, it hinders the ability to transform it into actionable intelligence.
Is the data accessible in real-time?
It is paramount to the mission that military and intelligence personnel have the technology solutions to support the mission in real-time because on the frontline, every second counts.
When a government decides to procure a range of new vehicles for its military programme, each vehicle uses sensors to collect massive volumes of data reporting about the operating state of the vehicle.
To securely integrate and share this data, defence and intelligence agencies must adopt a database platform that delivers a 360-degree view of their data in real-time to achieve a decisive advantage across the full spectrum of conflict, in even the most disconnected environments.
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