The proliferation of data from devices and sensors creates both challenges and opportunities for US armed forces. Today, data comes from both manned and unmanned platforms—ranging from form factors like the sophisticated instrumentation on a modern aircraft to the wearable gear on a solider. The challenge in handling all this data lies in ensuring the intelligence delivered can be readily acted on with a high degree of confidence. Estimations report that more than 99 percent of the data collected by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) is never analyzed. This means that crucial intelligence can be missed—intelligence that could vital to the success and safety of armed forces. With data collection expected to increase exponentially over the next decade, this problem is likely to increase.
Assisting defense with AI and cognitive services
Defense agencies require agility to rapidly handle asymmetric threats in dynamic environments around the world. Military systems and devices deliver terabytes of reconnaissance data every day. The efficient processing and dissemination of this data to deliver situationally relevant intelligence is a constant challenge.
Advanced machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) services help analyze massive volumes of data—delivering rich insights for accelerated operational responsiveness and building long-term strategic advantage. By leveraging the cloud, AI algorithms can process data at a previously unseen scale.
AI and cognitive services in Azure Government
AI is one of the most vibrant areas of innovation within Microsoft—creating next-generation applications to interpret and scale defense data in real time. Microsoft is deeply investing in AI across computing platforms and experiences to accelerate innovation and help organizations solve their toughest challenges.
Intelligent services such as vision, speech, language, knowledge, and search capabilities enable systems to detect objects, match faces, identify speakers, translate text, and build linguistic models of text to understand what was said. Through the power of Azure Government, the DoD can analyze a wide spectrum of field data in near-real time, and rapidly respond based on rich intelligence.
For accelerated analysis with higher confidence, applications themselves also need to develop capabilities by analyzing data instead of having the exact steps programmed—freeing data analysts from making every decision about how the algorithm functions. Azure provides powerful tools that can negate the need for manual intervention and, in many cases, intelligently define better data analysis solutions than were previously devised. These Azure tools ensure relationships and patterns are recognized across vast amounts of collected data at lightning speed with greater certainty. And the enhanced results from this analysis can be used to make informed decisions and ensure mission success.
Enabling rapid responses
In modern combat situations, the danger isn’t always easy to recognize. In many cases, the armed forces are relying on manual recognition and analyses to identify unknown threats. Yet the DoD has a treasure trove of data, readily accessible and rich with intelligence that can be rapidly consumed, analyzed, and dispersed to the field in near real time.
AI can instantly analyze the intelligence gathered through photos, video, audio, and more to compare millions of existing records. This enables rapid, confident identification of threat levels and ensures command is spending time on threat response instead of manual threat analysis. As data is collated, machine learning patterns analyze the data automatically, without programmatic help. This process builds a dossier of potential matches, which can be paired with new threats in real time.
Imagine if equipment and personnel had the power to instantly recognize faces, images, and voice samples through wearable devices—or the power to estimate threat levels through emotion analysis. AI through cognitive services is the key to making this a reality in the not-too-distant future.
Getting started with AI and cognitive services
With the advancement of AI in the cloud, this technology is now cost effective and available with less effort than ever before—extending its reach over data that was previously left unanalyzed due to budget and resource constraints.
Azure Government provides integrated AI, machine learning, and cognitive services through dedicated DoD regions that have Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization. This intelligent innovation delivers tremendous mission value and enables unparalleled speed and agility in decision making.
Also, don’t miss the latest webinar in the Azure webinar series:
“Using AI to transform the tactical edge”
 “Trends in Technology and Digital Security: Digital Threats Symposium—Compendium Of Proceedings,” Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at the George Washington University, Fall 2017, cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Fall%202017%20DT%20symposium%20compendium.pdf