Governments around the world are sceptical when it comes to integrating the latest technologies like artificial intelligence and facial recognition into defence systems. One of the primary barriers for such implementations is the citizens, who express security concerns. However, by announcing Microsoft as the winner for the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) initiative, the US government has laid down the cornerstone for embracing the latest technologies.
The lucrative $10 billion contract for cloud computing has been in the process for the last two years. With companies like IBM, Google, Amazon and Microsoft making their offers, it invoked huge criticism from every corner of the world. More notably, last year Google pulled out their candidacy after its employees outburst on the bid to assist the government in developing lethal warfare technologies.
Change In The US Defence Landscape
Cloud computing will enable the US to leverage cutting-edge technologies effortlessly and enhance its already powerful defence equipment. It will be used for improving air force, navy, and defence logistics agency, thereby empowering the government to expedite its defence workflows and development. The JEDI initiative will make US warfare stronger and agile to weather the storm from different countries.
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Apart from improving the day-to-day activities in the department, cloud computing will facilitate them to deploy AI in their defence systems.
Although the government has not yet disclosed if the cloud-computing will be utilised for space force technologies, it is highly likely that the platform will be embraced in the future for the same.
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What Does It Mean To Microsoft And Other Blue-Chip Organisations?
While Microsoft is ecstatic about the deal, it has invoked ire among other organisations. Many companies and experts had envisioned that Amazon would be the sole winner, but to their dismay, it was not to be. Most of them felt that Amazon was the front runner due to its superior security and services. But, now they are surprised as to what underlying factors led Microsoft to win the race. There is no prima facie evidence of any lobbying, but organisations suspect of quid pro quo.
US President Donald Trump has come head-to-head with Amazon and has erratically tweeted about how the company is dodging taxes. Moreover, President Trump has also alleged that The Washington Post, a media company owned by Jeff Bezos, peddles “fake news” to target him. It is understood by many that both of them do not go along, and this might have led to Amazon’s downfall even after being the market leader in providing cloud computing.
Although Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadela justified the firm’s stand even after their employees’ criticism, people still question the upgradation of warfare with technologies that are not reliable at present. There have been several cases, where technology such as computer vision, artificial intelligence, and others have failed to deliver desired results.
With such uncertainty, it can be catastrophic to give a go-ahead for integrating cutting-edge technologies. Any oversight while developing such technologies will not only be devastating to the US but also other countries as well.
The US defence is poised to proliferate the cloud computing and innovate for taking a leap in the defence tech marketplace. This will also assist the government in providing new defence equipment to further increase its economy and make billions through defence deals with other countries. It would be worth witnessing how the American defence department will take this forward and what will they bring to the table.