To Get to AI, DoD Needs Cloud

With the Department of Defense focused on artificial intelligence (AI) to support the warfighter, cloud computing will be a big part in getting tools out to the tactical edge, said Dana Deasy, CIO of the department, at GDIT Emerge on April 23.

“People get captivated about the cloud strategy from basic infrastructure. I have said, and I will continue to say, it is not the cloud itself that is exciting, but it’s the art of the possible about what it represents and what we’re able to do with it,” he said.

“To do AI and machine learning at the scale that we’re proposing to do it, it assumes in that strategy that we have a very large-scale cloud available,” Deasy added. “This is why cloud is so foundational – it’s what we’re going to put on top of that which leads to a discussion on AI, which is really important.”

With DoD heavily focused on adding AI capabilities to its portfolio, delivering those capabilities requires the scale and agility that cloud offers.

“Let’s face it – the Department of Defense is very episodic in nature,” he noted. “Cloud is very well suited to handle episodic events.”

Deasy also emphasized the need for cloud to bring capabilities to military personnel, no matter where they may be.

“If you think about the tactical edge – that’s deployment of a fleet, deployment of troops, deployment of a forward base – how we move from a world where traditionally compute power has always been centralized to how you decentralize it, to how you truly take it out to the tactical edge. That, for us, is one of the most exciting aspects about cloud.”

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