Three Key Takeaways From DoDIIS 2018

The annual Department of Defense Intelligence Information System (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference took place last week in Omaha, Nebraska. DoDIIS, the largest of the intelligence community (IC) conferences, brings together experts from government, military, industry, and academia to tackle information technology challenges. This year’s theme was “Data as a Weapons System: Revolutionizing Intelligence.” A few of the key topics and takeaways we noticed:

Turning Data into Actionable Intelligence

In a panel discussion on data-related challenges facing U.S. national security, Director of Intelligence for U.S. Strategic Command, Rear Adm. Kelly Aeschbach noted, “We do have good access [to information] but almost an overwhelming amount of access. I really think the promise for us in terms of where we’re going with the technology is how do we free the analyst to move to a higher level.” This is an issue faced by federal agencies and commercial organizations, alike. While the problem of data collection has been solved, extracting insights from data quickly and at scale remains a challenge.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Augmenting intelligence with machines was a subject touched on by many speakers and panelists. Leveraging AI technologies to discover and use data in transformative ways looks to be a top priority for the intelligence community. As Susan M. Gordon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, put it, “The race is on for who can put these technologies to good use faster.” She also stressed the importance of responsibility, stating, “These technologies are wonderfully exciting, but if we can’t protect them for our use and ensure that the conclusions that they draw are ones we can trust, we won’t be able to make headway.” This statement resonated with us at Kyndi, as we build our solutions with explainability as a fundamental requirement.

Complex Challenges Facing the Intelligence Community

Maintaining information superiority in a changing intelligence landscape is critical, and new methods and solutions are needed to ensure it. During her talk, Gordon remarked, “We are better than we have ever been, and we are not good enough.” She also laid out what she believes to be the four biggest challenges facing the IC:
• The evolving nature of threats
• Digital connectedness that overcomes limits of geography
• Data abundance that is an outgrowth of digital connectedness
• Underinvestment (particularly in artificial intelligence and computing)

With the theme being data, it was not surprising that much of the discussion centered around leveraging emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to deal with data at scale. Here at Kyndi, our goal is to help organizations maximize the value of their data and solve real-world problems. If you would like to learn more about how our solutions break open the AI “black box,” we invite you to contact us.


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