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Army Data Management Needs Bureaucrats

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AUSA
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Army needs computer-smart technicians to help with its data management, but it also needs bureaucrats, said Don Bitner of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center during a panel discussion hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

The chief for strategy and development for infrastructure at the center, created in 2018, Bitner was part of a panel discussing the importance of cloud computing technology for Army strategy. 

Bitner and other panelists urged more concentration on how data is intended to be used before deciding where it should be stored, and more efforts across the services to have data that can be easily shared. 

Data that cannot be easily shared can have less value, they said in a discussion during AUSA’s Army Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition at the TCF Center in Detroit. 

Finding and keeping talented technology-savvy employees is also critical, they said, but Bitner offered an unexpected suggestion. “What we really need are people who can cut through red tape,” he said. “Unfortunately, I am making a case for more bureaucrats.”

Bitner raised the concern because he believes the services could overcome problems sharing data if they’d simply follow existing procedures when writing contracts and setting policies to make things more widely usable.

Leonel Garciga, information management director for the Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, similarly talked about needing to have “business-focused people” in addition to technical talent.

For more on the Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition, click here or follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AUSArobot.