The Department of Defense plans to launch a project this year to improve its ability to use the vast amounts of intelligence data it collects, a DoD official said March 17.
Despite major advances in automation in recent years, DoD’s processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) efforts are still too labor-intensive and lag far behind those of the private sector, said Air Force Lt. Gen. John “Jack” Shanahan, director for defense intelligence (warfighter support) in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. As a result, DoD is overwhelmed with all of the information it gathers from manned and unmanned aircraft and other sources.
“We are collecting too much information and can’t do too much with a lot of it,” Shanahan said at an Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association Northern Virginia chapter luncheon. “The PED we do today is archaic. It’s industrial-age PED.”
The project, which does not yet have a formal name, will tap into artificial intelligence, data analytics and related “industry best” technologies to upgrade PED. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is expected to play a leading role.
“We have got to get into this and get into it with a vengeance,” Shanahan said. Currently, an analyst “sits looking at a video for 12 hours a day trying to find: Did the white pickup truck leave or enter the compound? We can do that without having to have an analyst look at it for 12 hours.”
The project’s goal is not to replace analysts but to help them do their jobs better. “We’re not talking about getting rid of analysts,” Shanahan said.