The U.S. Army is struggling to staff, train, and equip its new cyber and electronic warfare units, and officials haven’t assessed how those challenges will affect the Pentagon’s digital capabilities, according to a congressional watchdog.
In recent years, the Army has been rapidly expanding its cyber capabilities to stay ahead of the growing digital threats posed by adversaries like Russia and China, but the Government Accountability Office found the service is having a tough time keeping up with its ambitious plans.
The Army activated two digital warfare units last year despite personnel shortages, auditors said, and officials are struggling to update the equipment and doctrine used to train soldiers.
For Milton Friedman, it was simple. “There is one and only one social responsibility of business,” the Nobel economist wrote in 1970: to “engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” Companies must obey the law. But beyond that, their job is to make money for shareholders.
And Friedman’s view prevailed, at least in the United States.
Over the following decades, “shareholder primacy” became conventional business wisdom. In 1997, the influential Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of the chief executive officers of nearly 200 of America’s most prominent companies, enshrined the philosophy in a formal statement of corporate purpose. “The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders,” the group declared. “The interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders.”
On Aug. 19, the BRT announced a new purpose for the corporation and tossed the old one into the dustbin. The new statement is 300 words long, and shareholders aren’t mentioned until word 250.
Federal agencies didn’t experience a single “major” cybersecurity incident in 2018, marking the first time in three years the government avoided such a severe digital incursion, according to a recent White House report.
Not one of the more than 31,000 cybersecurity incidents that agencies faced last year reached the “major incident” threshold, which is defined as an event that affects more than 100,000 individuals or otherwise causes “demonstrable harm” to the U.S, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
The government fell victim to five major incidents in 2017 and 16 in 2016.
Losing a limb is probably one of the most physically challenging things a person can face, which is one of the reasons why researchers have been working for decades to develope prosthetics with increasingly more advanced and “life-like” movements and capabilities.
A team at the University of Utah has contributed to this aim with the development of technology for a next-generation prosthetic arm that can “feel” and make movements according to the thoughts of the person wearing it.
Components and subsystems that form large, complex systems such as automobiles and aircraft need testing before the entire system is built.
An engine-control unit (ECU) for example, has numerous sensors that must be simulated to test how the ECU responds to normal and abnormal conditions. While hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems have been around for years, Bloomy Controls has developed a system that can handle most of the inputs and outputs needed to simulate a system. You add the customization.
According to Bloomy president Peter Blume, the system provides 80% of what you need to simulate a system. “The remaining 20% is the part that makes the system unique,” he said during my visit to the company on July 12, 2019.
U.S. military researchers are asking for industry’s help in using artificial intelligence (AI) for the quick design of military systems that blend physical processes with computers and digital networking, called cyber-physical systems.
Cyber-physical systems use embedded computing and digital networks to monitor and control physical processes, and have feedback loops to enable physical processes and computing to influence one another.
Examples of cyber-physical systems are automatic avionics, robotics, autonomous automobiles, smart grids, and process-control systems.
To do this, Special Operations Command officials are crafting a new AI and machine learning strategy to inform its future spending. These advancements are expected to improve technologies across the core military services as well.
SOCOM’s roadmap is being created using ideas such as the Jeff Bezos strategy for developing Amazon, trends in industry, and lessons learned through the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
Augmented reality tools are being used to manufacture the next U.S. manned spacecraft.
Augmented reality is gradually moving to the factory floor as aerospace and other manufacturers embrace the technology to help train technicians. The goal is to reduce assembly errors and boost productivity while saving time and money.
Among those adopting AR is the world’s largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., which is working with software developer Scope AR to develop how-to manuals that include animations for assembling spacecraft components.
The partners said the collaboration has reduced the time required to interpret assembly instructions by 95 percent, along with an 85 percent reduction in overall training time and a more than 40-percent boost in productivity.