23 Aug 2021

DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) releases Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Strategic Plan Amidst Flurry of USG-wide AI/ML RFIs

An artificial intelligence security strategy (see “Securing AI – Four Areas to Focus on Right Now”) should be the cornerstone of any AI and machine learning (ML) efforts within your enterprise.  We also recently outlined the need for enterprises to further operationalize the logging and analysis of artificial intelligence (AI) related accidents and incidents based on an “AI Accidents” framework from the Georgetown University CSET. The best analysis is a sophisticated body of work on AI-related issues of morality, ethics, fairness, explainable and interpretable AI, bias, privacy, adversarial behaviors, trust, fairness, evaluation, testing and compliance.

As far as governmental contributions, what should be encouraging to industry players is the fact that AI/ML strategy is now very actionable at the policy, research and development and strategic partnership level across the USG. 

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19 Aug 2021

“AI Accidents” framework from the Georgetown University CSET

The Center for Security and Emerging Technology) (CSET)  in a July 2021 policy brief, “AI Accidents:  An Emerging Threat – What Could Happen and What to Do,” makes a noteworthy contribution to current efforts by governmental entities, industry, AI think tanks and academia to  “name and frame” the critical issues surrounding AI risk probability and impact.  For the current enterprise, as we pointed out as early as 2019 in Securing AI – Four Areas to Focus on Right Now, the fact still remains that “having a robust AI security strategy is a precursor that positions the enterprise to address these critical AI issues.”   In addition, enterprises which have adopted and deployed AI systems also need to commit to the systematic logging and analysis of AI-related accidents and incidents.

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13 Aug 2021

Elon Musk and his Five-Step Engineering Process Based on First Principles

If you have not discovered The Everyday Astronaut (a website and YouTube channel), it should be on your sensemaking radar.  Gone are the days of dependence on traditional media outlets to watch seminal space launches or returns at a fixed time in an exclusively nation-state based space race.  Everyday Astronaut is an example of the evolution of “space fan culture,” a case study in far how democratized media has come in its ability to educate and inform on even the most complex of scientific and technical topics, and a window into the democratization of space travel and how commercial space efforts will be covered by the media in 2021 and beyond. 

Elon Musk is clearly a fan, spending over two-hours recently with Everyday Astronaut host Tim Dodd at the SpaceX Starbase Facility in Boca Chica, Texas. An especially interesting takeaways from the tour is Musk sharing the five steps of his engineering process, noting that “what I am trying to do is have everyone implement rigorously the five-step process.”

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11 Aug 2021

OODA Special Report: Megadrought 2021 and Scenario Planning – Step One (Scale and Scope)

A critical component of scenario planning is strategic communication.  Interestingly, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS): “Drought communication is important not only for informing people about current drought conditions, but also for providing education and encouraging people to take adaptation action.”  While drought conditions are traditionally the domain of government agencies such as emergency and disaster management, public safety and public health, private sector companies should now look at drought conditions as a function of the strategic challenges brought on by climate change.

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09 Aug 2021

At Black Hat 2021, CISA Director Jen Easterly launches CISA JCDC (Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative)

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has launched a new agency effort, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), to develop cyber defense operations strategies and to implement those plans in collaboration with partners to mitigate risk prior to incidents happening and to coordinate unified defensive actions in the event of a cyber-attack.

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09 Aug 2021

What the C-Suite needs to know about a Return to “Great Power Competition” and DoD Capabilities (per the Congressional Research Service)

This post provides insights into what the C-Suite needs to know about the rise of great power competition, based largely on a recently released report by the policy and legal research agency of the United States Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), titled Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress.
Great Power Competition:  U.S. DoD and Strategic Transformation. The report sees a “new or renewed emphasis on the following, all of which relate to China and/or Russia”:

-Defense issues need to focus on a “grand strategy and the geopolitics of great power competition,” including DoD changes in organizational structure.
-Nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence, and nuclear arms control need to once again be center stage.
-Military force deployments and their global allocation new to be looked at anew, especially U.S. and allied military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
-The continued commitment to Europe in the form of U.S. and NATO military capabilities; and
-The maintenance of superiority by the U.S. in conventional weapon technologies.

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05 Aug 2021

Stark Vulnerabilities and Strong Recommendations continue in 2021 update to “Federal Cybersecurity: America’s Data at Risk” Report (2019)

In a follow-up to a 2019 report that found major cybersecurity vulnerabilities at eight government agencies, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has released a 2021 updated report. Entitled Federal Cybersecurity:  America’s Data Still at Risk,  the update does not mince words: “This report revisits those same eight agencies two years later. What this report finds is stark.”  

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02 Aug 2021

An Executive’s Guide to Scenario Planning for Strategic Decision-making

Scenario planning is an often overlooked aspect of corporate decision-making. But it is needed now more than ever.

Scenario planning is a methodology for helping leaders think through alternative futures in a way that enables identification of issues. It raises potential outcomes and impacts and helps conceptualize potential risks and opportunities so organizations can be better prepared.

This post captures some insights that can help accelerate the use of scenario planning in your organization.

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29 Jul 2021

Dan Gerstein on how to shape the future of technology

“We are liable to see a very changed humanity as we look to the future. And so I’m very interested in a humanity that is, if you will, that is good for humans, not just one in which we sort of become the subjects of our technologies.”   – Dan Gerstein 

Over the course of the summer and fall, we are revisiting the OODAcast archive to generate transcripts from the podcast conversations, related links and a reading list curated from the discussion – all in an effort to identify long term subject matter areas and follow-on topics which inform the future of the OODALoop.com core thematic research agenda.

We start at the beginning:  OODAcast Episode #1.  An overview of the podcast, related links, reading list and transcript of the podcast can be found below.

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23 Jul 2021

OODA Special Report: US Drought Requires Use Of Best Practices in Scenario Planning

This is the second in our series of special reports on mitigating the risks and improving corporate strategic planning regarding the drought in the US. The first is the OODA Special Report: How Drought In The US Should Impact Your Mid To Long Range Strategic Planning.  This report expands on the mid to long term scenario planning methodology and provides more insights into best practices in scenario planning as a strategic practice and pointers on how to get started ‘building’ your scenario.

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