Lt. Gen. Michael Groen Says DOD Must Avoid AI Obsolescence

3 mins read
Lt. Gen. Michael Groen
Lt. Gen. Michael Groen Director JAIC

Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) director, believes that the biggest artificial intelligence (AI) threat facing the Department of Defense (DOD) is obsolescence.

“The biggest competitive threat is our own obsolescence. I could walk out into the parking lot of the Pentagon, turn on my iPhone and join a data-driven, completely integrated environment. I can get whatever services I want. I can review, I can find, I can research. I can do it all at my fingertips. I can’t do any of that on a defense network,” commented Groen. 

Groen as director for JAIC, is tasked with accelerating the DOD’s advanced AI adoption. The Center provides data readiness evaluation and has successfully launched it's Joint Common Foundation (JCF). The Foundation is providing DOD organizations with the tools and expertise to incorporate AI in their operations. 

He stressed that China is attempting to become the world leader in AI by 2030 and the DOD needs to have integrated systems to counter that threat. The seamless and rapid transfer of data to relevant persons or organizations is vital for developing AI and robust warfighting capabilities. The rapid technological advancement in warfare means “small will beat our big capabilities. Fast, faster than us, will beat slower operations,” Groen added. 

AI will be essential for data processing for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), which is a  unified warfighting concept that aims to connect the best sensor to the best shooter in all combat domains. Groen said that developing platforms with open architectures is key to creating more capabilities that can be integrated into unified warfighting concepts. “Until we have an integrated warfighting capability, data-driven that can operate at tempo, we’re vulnerable.”

Lt. Gen. Groen gave a keynote address during Potomac Officers Club's recent 3rd Annual Artificial Intelligence Summit on March 30th. He addressed the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) for the Department of Defense (DOD) and national security as a whole. In addition, he spoke about how the DOD needs to integrate AI technology into all of its services and agencies to coordinate warfighting and communication capabilities.

If you missed the 3rd Annual Artificial Intelligence Summit, you can still access the OnDemand footage by visiting Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.

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