Race to the finish: U.S. in dead heat with China as both develop cloud-computing network
As the Pentagon prepares for a joint cloud-computing network with either Amazon or Microsoft, the DoD is vigilantly watching the Chinese military, who are creating a cloud system of their own.
Not bound by the same restraints and considerations as a joint venture between a military force and free-market companies, China is developing their own computing system.
Naturally, the U.S. is working hard to get there first, via the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI.
“We don’t want to waste any more time moving forward because we know our potential adversaries are doing it at their own speed,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said on Friday. “Whether it’s Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime, they’re all coming up with their own cloud solutions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to make them 1,000 feet tall; they’re going to have their own cloud interoperability challenges. But the level of investment and the number of people they’re putting at the problem, they’re moving at a very rapid pace, and what I can’t afford to do is slow down anymore.”
Shanahan is in charge of the Pentagon’s Joint AI Center, which focuses on supporting the artificial intelligence needed to help warfighters make safer and faster decisions.
“If I am a warfighter, I want as much data as you could possibly give me,” he said. “Let me use my sort of algorithms to sort through it as fast as machine speeds, let the machines do that but the humans think, the cognitive piece of this. It’s really hard for me to do that without an enterprise cloud solution.”
However, according to CNBC, this does not mean that quality can be sacrificed for the sake of expediency.
“We’ve got to get this right, so we are not going to rush to a decision,” said Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer.” We are going to spend whatever time the evaluation team needs to spend to make sure we are picking the best technical solution at the right price with the right criteria.”
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