The chief of the Defense Department’s newly formed Defense Innovation Board (DIB) expects to return under President-elect Donald Trump.
“We have every reason to believe it will continue,” Alphabet [GOOGL] Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters Monday at the Pentagon. “We’re assuming it’s business as usual.”
Schmidt said the panel serves at the pleasure of the defense secretary and though he has had contact with Trump’s transition team, he has not discussed DIB with the team. Schmidt said he and his fellow panel members were at the Pentagon to speak with outgoing Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his staff.
Schmidt said panel members had not told him they were leaving and that he expected everyone would stay on. Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson told reporters he agreed with the various murals on display around the Pentagon that called for people to pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not the president.
The panel almost unanimously voted to approve 12 recommendations. These include:
* Appoint a chief innovation officer (CINO) and build innovation capacity in the workforce;
* Embed computer science as a core competency of DoD through recruiting and training;
* Embrace a culture of experimentation;
* Assess cyber security vulnerabilities of advanced weapons;
* Catalyze innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning;
* Expand use of available acquisition waivers and exemptions;
* Increase investment in new approaches to innovation;
* Improve DoD access to code;
* Establish software development teams at each major command
* Make computing and bandwidth abundant;
* Reward bureaucracy busting and lower barriers to innovation; and
* Establish global and secure repository for data collecting, sharing and analysis.
The final recommendation endorses the creation of a new data system to serve as the principal storage platform for all, or most, DoD data and encourages the development of tools to enable better decision making through data mining, analysis, sharing and visualization. The DIB believes as cyber warfare and disruptive cyber activities emanating from an ever-widening host of adversaries become even more widespread and pernicious, data that is easily accessible and can be collected and used efficiently and comprehensively will be more important than ever.
Schmidt said during earlier public meeting Monday that the federal government, particularly DoD, has a data problem. He said the issue stems from how it is collected, analyzed and shared.
In addition to Schmidt, University of Pennsylvania Professor Adam Grant, Broad Institute President and Founding Director Eric Lander, Instagram COO Marne Levine, United Technologies Corp. [UTX] Senior Vice President for Science and Technology Michael McQuade, University of Texas System Chancellor retired Adm. William McRaven, Google [GOOG] Capital Vice President Milo Medin, Code for America Founder Jennifer Pahlka, Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein and Tyson all participated in Monday’s meeting.