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tv   Defense Technology Innovation Hearing  CSPAN  May 31, 2018 5:52pm-8:00pm EDT

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>> presbyterian minister. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern c-span's q and a. now a look at current defense department innovation. we heard about the defense acquisition process, public private partnerships and the cyber security work force. at this hearing held by the house armed services committee. it is two hours. >> committee will come to order. for the last three national defense authorization acts reform, especially acquisition reform, has been a major priority. the purpose has to get more value for the taxpayers out of the money spent, but even more importantly, to make the
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department more agile in dealing with the variety of security challenges we face. as secretary mattis has testified, our technological position has eroded in recent years compared with our leading adversaries. we confront threats that don't conform to our traditional notions of warfare. and the historical evidence indicates we may well be a victim of our own success. as one writer put it when looking at the inner war years, the losers were forced by events, to re-examine everything. military losers are intellectual radicals. the winners, complacent in victory, feel the need for self-examination far less. the answer is, the department of defense must work to be more innovative in technology, in policies, and in thought. one of the many books offering advice to businesses sums it up with a chapter title that is
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"innovate or die." that has been the goal of the reforms of recent years and the reform proposals that i'm releasing today. two witnesses who are superbly qualified to help guide our efforts as well as those of the department in the quest to develop a culture of innovation. one of the reforms we enacted two years ago was to create an undersecretary for research and engineering to be the primary driver of innovation in the department. dr. michael griffin was confirmed that that position about two months ago and among other things, he's the former administrator of nasa.
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eric smith is the chairman of the defense innovation board and formerly chairman of google and alpha bet where he remains a technical adviser. he's here however only in his capacity with the defense innovation board. we are very grateful to have both of you here. i might alert members that after this -- immediately after this open hearing, we will reconvene in classified session to go in greater detail about some of these issues. let me at this point yield to the gentle lady from california, who is the acting ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i want to ask unanimous consent to put the ranking chair statement into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. i certainly appreciate the chairman's calling today's
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hearing on the need for more innovation and technology development in the department of defense. and we're honored to have both of you here today to serve as witnesses on this critically important topic. we've been talking about it for a long time. but actually addressing it in a way that is going to continue to make a difference, is part of really what we want to see happen. maintaining a culture of innovation does matter. innovation ensures our service members have the technological edge they need, innovation has the power to win tomorrow's wars before they are fought. we must continue to promote a culture of openness. looking for new ways to do things, being willing to accept prudent risks, and trying something different, and constantly looking ahead rather than behind. but we also know that the department of defense cannot go it alone. they must work with the private sector and academia. no less important are investments in stem education, programs that develop junior
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talent into future tech leaders of policies that promote an environment in which global collaboration, discovery, innovation, public institutions, and industry can thrive. i had an opportunity to read dr. schmidt's statement and i want to thank you because it provides a kind of reality test for us, and how do we continue to do many of the advances that we've been working on, and you note those in your statement very clearly. but also build an architecture that is going to bring us into the future and certainly respond to the needs of the men and women who go to war on behalf of our country. i look forward to hearing your testimony today. thank you. excuse me. and i yield back. >> without objection, both of your written statements will be made a part of the record. i do want to comment, dr. griffin, that nobody's read yours because we just got it. and i think it's important. i realize that when you're an administration official it's gotta be cleared by all of these different levels, but who -- whatever the administration, it's important for those involved in getting us written statements, to get them timely or else there's really no use in doing it. so i've -- again, nobody's read
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your statement, because i think it just came at some point this morning. i'm not fussing at you, but i am fussing at all those layers that are responsible. it's kind of a good summary of our acquisition problems. if you got all these layers of people that have to approve something, it takes a long time to get something. and maybe that's an appropriate analogy for the innovation topic today. but without objection your full written statements will be made part of the record. we are grateful to both of you for being here, and dr. griffin, the floor is yours. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, my apologies, the statement is late. and the error is mine and no other excuses is permissible. so moving forward, chairman thornberry, ranking member
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smith, acting ranking member davis and members of the committee, i do appreciate your entering my written statement in the record and i want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss ways that we as the department of defense can foster a culture of innovation throughout the research and engineering enterprise. the reality is that we live in a time of global access to technology, and global access to scientific talent. it is no longer preeminently concentrated here in america. the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains have all experienced dramatic capability advances, and have done so throughout the world. these advances coupled with our adversaries commitment to a
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demonstrated pace of experimentation and fielding, that at present far outstrips our own pace, present a formidable challenge to u.s. forces operating around the globe. it is this erosion of u.s. technological superiority that led to the establishment of the position which i now hold as undersecretary for research and engineering. our mission is to ensure that we maintain our technological edge and i am honored to be here today to talk with you about that. i believe that i come to this position reasonably well versed in the threats that face the united states today. and i am indeed concerned. we are in a constant competition. in a world that has now equal access to technology, innovation will remain important always, but speed becomes the differentiating factor.
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greater speed in translating technology into fielded capability is where we can achieve and maintain our technological edge. we must seek innovation, not only in our technology, but in our processes. i look forward to instilling within the department a culture that embraces a more agile approach to development. and with that said, i would be remiss if i did not highlight the dod, rne enterprise which consists of our labs, engineering and warfare centers, and our partners in the ffrdcs, uarcs, academia, and industry, both small and large business, who have given us the military capabilities that we enjoy today and that will give us the ones we will need in the future. the department is addressing critical technology and capability gaps through a combination of adaptation of existing systems, and the development and introduction of innovative new technologies through our labs and centers and darpa and other entities.
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the department continues to push the envelope with research into new technologies, such as autonomous and unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning, biotechnology, space technology, microelectronics and cyber, both offense and defense. these technology areas are not just important to the department, they are the focus of global industry. and we are focused not just upon technological innovation but also upon pursuing new practices and organizational structures to support this culture of innovation. earlier this year, deputy secretary of defense shanahan said and i quote, everyone wants innovation, but innovation is messy. if the department is really going to succeed at innovation, we're going to have to get comfortable with people making mistakes. from my own background of producing experimental hardware when i had possibly more enjoyable jobs, i can certainly
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say that it is -- no progress is possible without the willingness to take chances and make mistakes with today's hardware in order that tomorrow's systems will be better. we are today making investments across the full spectrum of innovation. these areas include early stage research and development, repurposing commercial and non-traditional technologies for national security purposes, the advancement of manufacturing technologies, red teaming to identify our own vulnerabilities, new technology demonstrations, and experimentation and prototyping. our adversaries are presenting us today with a renewed challenge of a sophisticated evolving threat. we are, in turn, preparing to meet that challenge and to restore the technical overmatch of the united states armed forces that we have
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traditionally held. i thank you again for the opportunity to testify on this critical issue and i look forward to your questions. thank you, sir. >> thank you. although i cannot imagine a job that would be more enjoyable than the one you have now, to help the department of defense be more innovative. dr. schmidt, thank you for being here. [ inaudible ] >> yeah, hit the button, please. >> sorry. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i completely agree with what dr. griffin just said. i think it's crucial for our nation. i've worked with a group of volunteers over the last couple of years to take a look at innovation in the overall military. and my summary conclusion is that we have fantastic people
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who are trapped in a very bad system. and i'm concerned that you all are not going to get what you think you're going to get because of the deficiencies of the system, and i want to take you through that. i might start with a couple of simple examples. we visited a minesweeper, and minesweeper is obviously important, and there's a young sailor who is beaming. i go up to him and say, what are you beaming about? he says, we just upgraded our computer. upgraded from windows '95 to windows xp, which was delivered in 2001. his job, by the way, was to watch for mines eight hours a day on the screen of his windows xp computer. no one i knew and no one i could find all up the chain of command could fix this obvious violation of department policy around adopting windows 10. we've visited more than a hundred sites and one of the sites we visited, we had 20 officers of various kinds, all very committed to innovation, and we had a presentation on the innovation occurring at the base.
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a programmer gets up and shows us rapid development methodology, quotes from my book, talks about how it's all done right. sounds great. we discovered that there are only two people on the base that are doing this. of course there's 20 officers in charge of these two people. but i guess the even worse news is one of them is being reassigned to a different base and won't be able to do any more programming. and they can't figure out a way to swap the billets so this person can stay in their base. we're at a secret briefing with the security agency on an opponent in the crypto world, by a very, very talented, young, crypto expert, who says that he's being transferred to a
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different base and won't be able to work on crypto anymore. all right? this is the state of the talent of our young people and frankly why many of them are leaving for the private sector. they want to serve. one of our new generation airplanes had a potential software problem, we were asked to look at that. we went to visit, we discovered it has a first generation cpu, which was the processor that's in the airplane, that had been deployed and was out of date when it was deployed. but they're excited about a new version of the same cpu coming out in approximately 2024, which will be out of date when it's delivered. when questioned hard by our team, the rules were so constraining, the engineers did not have a choice. this is madness in my view. i can give you example after example of this in the details. so my conclusion, or our conclusion, is that innovation definitely exists, but there's no real mechanism and no incentive for the way the current structure is sort of adopted. in fact, if i can make a strong statement, the dod violates pretty much every rule in modern product development. the spec is developed and
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finalized before production starts. the way you really do it, you start it and you learn from your mistakes, that's called agile development. it's essentially impossible to do because of the way the rules are set. there's no permanent software wear people. software, when done right is essentially continuous. the way it's done is the same way hardware is pro cured. you write a spec, it shows up, make sure it meets the spec, and the contractor goes away. if you were in 2001 and you'd been asked to write a spec for the development of a smartphone in 2018, none of the technologies that are in the smartphone you have today were available in one form or other at the time. yet that's how we do almost all of our procurement. it's crazy. much better to do it more iteratively. if you can't do it every week, do it every month. if you don't do it every month, do it every year. but once a decade means that the new hardware will mean that the new software has to be rewritten and that drives the craziness. once certified, a weapons system cannot be changed. we were in a control center that had a secret classification and they were using a protocol that
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i recognized as a computer scientist. and i said, wouldn't it be obvious to use this protocol, have a computer and military programmer take that protocol and then expose an answer that was useful for the air fighter? and the answer came back, that's illegal. and i said, we're inside of a secret facility, you have a programmer who is a military programmer and they're not allowed to connect a computer into your network and they said absolutely. because the whole thing was certified as unchanging. again, a complete lack of understanding of how iteration and improvement would occur. the model that the military uses, where they outsource everything to large contractors has served us maybe well for these large weapons programs. but doesn't work at all for the kinds of stuff i'm talking about. you need a completely different model. the networking computer resources are sort of out of the dark ages. like out of the 1970s. people wait for hours to log in and then networks are slow. it's a complete violation of the concept of abundant computing resources which allow people to
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build flexible systems. the computer scientists, which we can't find very many of, are not a separate track. imagine if the way you did doctors and nurses in the military was, you'd have them become a doctor or nurse for six months and then transfer them back out. it's a separate profession. it's obvious to me that computer science, and particularly programming should be a separate discipline with training and hierarchy and so forth. there are many examples of systems where there are two systems that should have been interconnected but vendor a built it this way, and vendor b built it this way. so we have soldiers who literally enlisted professionals that we in our country have asked to join the military, sitting there and it's called swivel typing.
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they look at it and read the number and then they type it over here. and then they read the number here and they type it over here. right? this is the easiest of all computer programming problems. and again, a small programming team can do that in a weekend, yet the system is not able to do that for the military. since every decision is protested, there's a risk of strategy where not much risk is taken, because whenever the military actually makes a decision, they know that they'll spend another year or two in some kind of contest. and it just goes on and on. and if you -- if you -- i think this group feels strongly that this is not okay. but let's say you thought this was like, okay, things are fine,
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the country's doing well, it's important to note how at least one potential future adversary, china, is investing extremely heavily and rapidly in artificial intelligence and has announced publicly that their goal by 2030 is to be the leading force in the world. so again, there are competitive countries and competitive challenges that we need to address. now, we can talk about what to do, we have a long list. our team produced a list of approximately 14 recommendations, which the leadership and the dod has generally indicated they strongly agree with. these are recommendations that are consistent with the things that i've talked to you about, things like the co-coms, the commanders should have a hundred engineers to go fix things, that software should be a different process. that there should be a program around psychological safety, where the people are encouraged to take risks without losing their jobs. in fact, maybe people could be promoted because they took risks, as opposed to promoted because they didn't take risks, which is part of the culture. trying to organize around big
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dat a collecting data. if you're working in artificial intelligence to do anything, you need the data to train against. construction and setting up of an a.i. center. my personal view, the split that you all did a couple years ago was very sharp, which brought dr. griffin in and his team, which is excellent. i can tell you secretary mattis and shanahan understand this very well and they're committed to addressing these issues. so i think we have strong leadership on the military side. i know that you all are very concerned about this, so i think these are problems that can be addressed. thank you very much. >> just very briefly, dr. griffin, do you largely agree with dr. schmidt's diagnosis? >> it would be very difficult for me to agree more strongly with him. the way that we -- the way that we broadly speaking decide what we want to buy in the defense department before committing to buying it, has been, i think, broken for some years, which is why you, as dr. schmidt just said, why you created the position that you did.
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i made a couple of notes here. eric's comments about iterative development of software, i couldn't agree more. i used to be a software developer. software's never done. but i would offer the following. hardware development is done that same way. you build a little, try a little, test a little, find where it breaks, fix it and move on. when you have it working about like you like it, then it's time to write the requirements. in the department, we have a fixed process where we write requirements and then develop capabilities. the way real engineers do it, is you prototype hardware, develop capabilities, and then based on those capabilities, now you write the requirements for the production system that you really want. so iteration in the hardware
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world is as important as it is in the software world. let me stop there. we are in very high degree of alignment. >> okay. did you have something you wanted to add? >> i just wanted to add, so this requirements-driven process makes sense if you sort of hear it. it says, hey, let's write down what we want, the government will procure that, we'll know what the budget is, and we'll get what we want. the problem is, it produces outcomes that are not learning outcomes. there's no new feedback system. and the cycles in development in the general procurement have been increasing up to, say, 10, 12, 15 years, which ultimately causes us to miss the mark in the first place. >> by the time you have the hardware, you no longer want it because it's out of date?
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>> yeah. >> let me just ask you each to address one other issue. innovation, an essential element is small to mid size businesses that are willing to disrupt things. and the suggestion that's been made to me is, we make it too hard for these small, disruptive businesses to ever get into the dod system. there's this program called sbir, whatever that stands for, which spends a lot of money, gets things started, but very little of it ever gets picked up in a program of record that goes on. so i would appreciate each of you commenting on whether in the department of defense we need to have these small, disruptive
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businesses, and how well we're doing at getting them and bringing them into the system. >> i certainly agree that most of the disruption that occurs in our technology eco-system comes from small and medium-sized businesses. we see the ones that succeed. we don't see the many that fail. and then ultimately they may very well get bought if they're successful, by larger contractors. i am not one to say that we don't need our large contractor industrial base. that is how we produce things at scale. but they are not largely the innovators that you seek. so i agree with your point there, sir. part of the difficulty and -- and i further agree that we are in the defense department and in
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the government at large, we're not user friendly for small and medium-sized firms which quite often lack accounting systems that are compatible with defense contracting auditing agency, and defense contracting management agency. it requires a lot of corporate overhead and this time last year, i was running such a company. it requires a lot of corporate overhead to deal with what we do in government. well, why do we do those things in government? we do them so that we in the executive branch can demonstrate that we can account for every penny. we go to so much trouble making sure that no misspending of money is possible, that we actually create a larger
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mistake. we freeze out the innovators who, maybe their accounting systems aren't up to snuff, but their innovations are, and we leave those behind in an effort to make sure our systems are perfect. if we could find a way to do more dealing on a commercial transaction basis where, as a commercial entity, your accounting system is your problem. i'm buying a quantity of things from you, and my interest is to make sure that you deliver those things on time. if we had more focus on outcomes and less focus on process, i think we in the department could do better. >> the department of defense has
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created two interesting groups, one is call diux, another one is called special capabilities office, or sco. both of which are central to solving this problem because they focus on the small, disruptive businesses and try to use their tech to augment the larger systems. there are groups, an example would be soft works, sof, werx, and afwerx, which are attempts to do that for the special operations forces as well as the air force and the other services are now looking at this to address the question that you asked precisely. so we're very clear, most innovation is going to come from these small, innovative companies by definition, because that's how they differentiate themselves. all of them complain that the cost of compliance to the rules and procurement is overwhelmingly difficult. they don't have the money, they don't have the people and so forth. whereas the larger companies do.
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>> have you had a chance, dr. schmidt, in your reviews to, look at this sbi program and how successful it is in getting small businesses into dod mainstream? >> i'm aware of it. we've not done a deep dive on sbir. everything that the dod can do to encourage more choices in terms of innovation say good thing. whether it's individual contracting. it's possible, for example, to hire small teams of software people who you can't hire through the normal military process, through special consulting arrangements. all of that should be tried. i want to emphasize what dr. griffin said about this need to track every dollar. i'll give you an example. i'm sitting with a very senior four-star general and i said in a polite way, you're a very powerful guy. why can't you get a team of 50 people in your huge budget, to do the things you're complaining to me about? and he said, i did, and they were taken away from me. and i said, you've got to be kidding. so there's something in the system that's a scavenging function, that's taking these small groups that are interesting and innovative and under the direct control of our most senior military leaders and
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taking them away from them. that's not smart. >> lots to go through. but miss davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i think it's discouraging when we hear also that, in fact, you were able to find two generals, i believe, who really got it, and yet were not able to make that happen. i think in other ways. so could you talk a little bit about and, dr. schmidt, with your experience in the private sector obviously, there are a lot of ways in which we often have exchanges, bring people into the military, bring military into the private sector. are we using every advantage that we have to do that? have you seen ways in which we could do a far better job building that human capital, so there's a real understanding of
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the role that one another plays? because i think sometimes, you know, folks in the military may think, well, they don't have to worry about the problems we have to worry about. and the same is true. how can we do that better? and i also would wonder, how can we do that better when it comes to developing that human capital at a much -- prior to people getting into the service for that matter, that we can try to bring some of those, that thinking to bear? >> for this part of the military, i like to think of it as a very, very large corporation. with the problems of a very large corporation. how do you hire people, how do you promote people, and so forth. the defense department has something called the defense
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digital service, which is a good example, where patriotic men and women will take a year or two off of their current jobs. they get permission to do so obviously, and they come in and they fix problems. the problem with it, which is very successful, it's very small. 20, 30, 40 people. we need a hundred, 200, 300. and given the way the government in general does software in particular, these kinds of programs are effective, and i would encourage their expansion. corporations are not going to willy nilly hand over their top talent. but there's enough motion in the system where, again, patriotic people are willing to take a leave or work -- and you can imagine there are programs with the private sector where they'll even keep their salary as a patriotic act, to do this, as long as it's time-limited. you emphasize in your opening comment, the importance of stem education, it's clear to me, the
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most important thing we can do is more emphasis on stem education at all levels. >> mr. griffin, i think these are all things that we think are good to do and some of them, of course are being done. we need to scale that more. but do you see -- and i know you're in this position somewhat new under this rubric, does it actually transfer when people have had those experiences? are there things -- the requirements-based processes in the military, does that get in the way of people taking those good ideas and being able to deal with it? or will more people who understand this, in the end, be the difference between how we move forward in the future? [ inaudible ] >> what would you do?
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microphone. >> there are a lot of important questions contained in that one question you asked. that's really quite broad. first of all, the individuals who come in for these experiences and then go on to other avenues of life, they do retain those. we get valuable transfer both ways. as eric said earlier, we've got fantastic people in the government and laboratory networks, in my experience, as good as those who can be found in commercial industry. it is, as he said, the system in which they reside. eric gave an example of a four-star who wanted to do something and the resources were taken away. just a couple of weeks ago, i was having a conversation with another four-star, and we were commiserating on the swarming drone threat. and he said to me, in almost a rhetorical conversation, why can't i just have some money and buy some drones of my own and put my guys on the problem of figuring out how to develop a counterattack and let them try stuff out and break some drones and find out an approach that works?
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and i said -- i won't offer his name -- i said, general, i could not agree with you more, but in fact, i'm an undersecretary and you're a four-star, and neither one of us has the power to route money to you, to allow your people to do what you just said. >> yeah. >> it is the system in which we're trapped. now, in private industry, i once ran a gps company. if it hadn't been successful, i probably wouldn't be here today. if i had to go through the kinds of permission loops to upgrade my receiver circuitry that we have to go through in the department to catalyze and advance, i wouldn't be here today. i'd have been long out of business. it is the system in which our innovators are trapped. it is not the quality of the innovators or the innovations. >> thank you.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. rogers? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. dr. griffin, as you know, i have a very high opinion of you for a long time. and i'm proud you're in this position. this new nda that we just completed, gave you some pretty broad and sweeping powers. i know you've only been in it for two months now, but can you tell me how it's working? >> well, sir, in fact, i've been in this two months today. eight weeks today. and thank you for your kind comments. actually, i have to say, the broad and sweeping powers that the ndaa 17 allocated to us are more broad and sweeping powers to offer advice. i don't -- usdr doesn't have much in the way of specific directive authority to control what is or is not done. so it's more the power to
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persuade. i hope i'm an effective persuader. >> good. i hope you're effective too. conventional strike hypersonic development needs to be accelerated. can you tell me what your thoughts -- and coordinated better. can you tell me what your thoughts are about that. >> you have hit my number one hot button, sir, as i may have mentioned that in my confirmation testimony couple months back.
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i will say that in my opinion today, the most significant advance by our adversaries has been the chinese development of what is now today a pretty mature system for conventional prompt strike at multi thousand kilometer ranges. we will, with today's defensive systems, not see these things coming, and they have an all azimuth capability, they can come from any direction. we will not see them coming beyond several hundred kilometers of range, and once inside that range bucket, we have very little time left to respond. it is a tactical system that has strategic import for our nation because it, if employed, could have the effect of limiting our ability to project power in the
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maritime domain. and as you well know, sir, you're the subcommittee chairman for strategic forces, i think you know how important our ability to sustain carrier battle groups and other maritime domain assets, is to projection of u.s. strategic will throughout the world. and this capability is under threat today. we must respond with our own offensive capability and we must with all deliberate speed develop defensive capability. >> excellent. and i know you will. finally, directed energy is something i feel very strongly about us maturing as quickly as possible. it's been five years away forever. but as you know, this technology is pretty mature. but it needs some more focus and attention. and one of the things that i'm concerned about right now is that it's being developed in three different areas, three different programs, instead of being focused generally in missile defense agency. can you tell me what your thoughts are about why that development's been spread across three different programs. >> i'm not sufficiently knowledgeable of the history to know how we got where we are.
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and in business school, they teach us that some costs are irrelevant anyway. so my mission is to go forward and unify our directed energy development across the department. that is what i want to do, because right behind the hypersonic threat, i am concerned that we are not leveraging our technical advantage in directed weapons. within a few years, i want this nation to have a hundred kilowatt laser that can be deployed on a striker. i want us to have a several hundred kilowatt directed energy capability that i can put on an air force tanker, so that it can defend itself. by the latter part of the next decade, i want to have a mega watt class device that can go in space and be -- and protect us against enemy strategic missiles. these things are within our grasp if we focus our efforts. they absolutely are within our grasp.
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>> well, i want what you just described. so get after it. >> please help me get it, sir. >> i'm with you. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to our witnesses. i want to thank you for being here and for the testimony. i think this is an important discussion that we're having. and i have the privilege of serving as the ranking member of the emergent threat committee and we have primary jurisdiction over the departments cutting r & d programs. and so the more we can do to cut out the red tape and accelerate these programs, i think the better off our nation will be. dr. schmidt, let me start with you. of the recommendations made to increase innovation in the department, which is the most imperative? and has the recommendation been adopted? i'm sorry. been adopted and actually seeing it come to fruition? >> the -- thank you very much. many of the recommendations are in the internal reviews of the dod, and the military has said generally they're going to implement as many of them as they can. the one that's gotten the most
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traction is the proposal around a.i. center. we are proposing that the nature of a.i. as a long-term technology that will be useful for defensive and perhaps offensive purposes as well. so the creation of that is under review right now. and i suspect will occur. we're also recommending, for example, that be done in conjunction with a university or couple universities, so trying to make sure it's world-class. >> how do you feel innovation can be scaled? >> well, this is what i've done my whole career. and you can systematize innovation by doing essentially reviews, quick decision cycles and that. remember that the biggest mistake is not starting something doesn't work. it's continuing something that doesn't work. so you want to fast fail. and, again, dr. griffin has emphasized this in his notes as
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well. so i would suggest that the government spend a fair amount of time doing reviews that are pretty rough. it's very difficult in the dod to cancel anything. and yet the budgets are always fully allocated. so if you want to have room for innovation, you're going to have to stop doing a few things. i'm not talking about the big things, i'm talking about lots of other things they're also doing. >> thank you. that's a good segue into my next question. dr. griffin, so any future conflict will undoubtedly include advanced technologies like directed energy or hypersonics or rail gun, and we recently had a conversation about these topics in my office, and i thank you for the courtesy call when you came by. so it's not just us pursuing these capabilities, as we spoke about, our adversaries are investing heavily in these areas as well. so do we need to be more aggressive in our pursuit of these capabilities? and how do you believe we can better promote a culture more
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accepting of failure in this pursuit within the department of defense? >> thank you, sir. the first thing that pops into my mind when you say how can we institute a culture that's more accepting of failure, what i -- from the heart, what i think we need to understand is that it's not failure to learn that something we tried didn't work on the way to our major goal. if our goal to -- chairman rogers was asking me about directed energy weapons and i know you're interested in those as well. if my goal a decade from now is to give the u.s. dominance in missile defense in the world by means of having a mega watt class laser, that's my goal.
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failure is failure to reach that goal. it is not a failure to try out different approaches to reaching that goal and have them break along the way. as long as i don't lose sight of my strategic goal that i'm going to have a mega watt class laser in ten years. and breaking hardware along the way to that goal is not a failure. in fact, breaking hardware along the way to that end goal is often and i'm tempted to say always, but i'm sure there are exceptions. breaking hardware along the way is often the quickest way to get to where you want to be. and so it's -- there's a cultural mind-set here that we are in the course of trying to prevent small failures along the way to the grand goal, we miss the grand goal. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> as i mentioned, we in congress, of course have to work with -- we want to be supportive of these innovative efforts and as long as we're taking these journeys together and we have an open line of communication when
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a failure occurs. again, this is something that we can take these leaps together and understand where we wanted to get to and be supportive of your efforts. thank you and i'll yield back. >> mr. whitman. >> thank you so much for joining us today. dr. griffin, you have spoken repeatedly about the role hypersonics will play in this era of great power competition between the united states, russia, and china. and you also stated specifically that they are your highest priority. you went on to state, in your words, i'm sorry for everybody out there who championed some other high priority, some technical thing. it's not that i disagree with those, but there has to be a first, and hypersonics is my first. other than funding, how do you
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transitionally get that redirection towards hypersonics, get us to the point where we are not only catching up, but surpassing our adversaries? wanted to get your perspective on that. >> thank you, sir. let me add that i have a goodly -- good size list of priorities that come to us out of the national defense strategy that was released in january. i'm not often a fan of government assessments, but this one was really well done. and that gives me my -- gives me my marching orders, if you will. and of course the nds did call
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out hypersonics. and as you correctly point out, i've emphasized that. to be honest with you, our earlier -- this nation's earlier research work in hypersonics systems development was basically what our adversaries had used to fuel their own systems. it is time for us to renew our emphasis on and funding of these areas in a coordinated way across the department to develop systems which can be based on land for conventional prompt strike, can be based at sea, and later on, can be based on aircraft. we know how to do these things. this is a country that produced an atom bomb under the stress of war time in three years from the day we decided to do it. this is a country that can do anything we need to do that physics allows. and we just need to get on with it. >> very good. thank you. dr. schmidt, let me pick your brain. in your role, you look at a lot of different opportunities. one of the opportunities that i think has evaded us to this point is, how do we take needs within the department of defense, and combine that with the innovation and creation that exists within the outside
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community, and look at the conduit of venture capitalists who look to invest in those emerging technologies who normally haven't been connected with dod? how do we make that connection? how do we get those companies that have been innovative on the commercial side to say, there's an application of what we do, and the attraction of capital with that, to accelerate the development of those technologies? give me your perspective about what we can do to better make that happen. >> unlike silicon valley companies, the dod is top down. so the ndf is crucial here. it has roughly ten big buckets. the military is now trying to organize its activities into these buckets. and that's a crucial signal to the venture capital industry to say, work in this area. then the next thing to tie in is the notion that there's a new approach to a problem, a faster this, a smarter that, often software, and that's where the current lack of link is. that the people who are running
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those parts of the dod are not technologists, they're generalists. they don't have someone to say, hey, there's a new way to solve this problem. and all you have to do is take a look over here. i've championed having various internal bakeoffs and so forth. dr. griffin is central to this role and understands this role very well as one of the people to bring this into the dod. he won't be successful without the rest of the dod being in alignment with these ten broad areas and calling him and working with him, looking for these things. >> very good. dr. griffin and dr. schmidt, one final question. in this era of great power competition, we are not going to be where we were in the past, that is to out-resource our opponents, whether it was what we did in world war ii, or during the cold war. where we will prevail today, we must be able to do more per our unit of currency than our adversaries do per their unit of currency. give me your perspective on, how do we start down the path to do that? dr. griffin, you spoke a little bit about this, about us being
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the creators and innovators. how do we accelerate that in this era of competition to prevail? >> well, sir, as i said earlier, we're not out of innovators, we're not out of innovations. we're out of time. if we -- and it is about pace. we must match the pace that our adversaries are demonstrating today. so a few weeks ago, i was fortunate to have some private time with the chairman, and he asked me essentially the question that you asked. and i often pop off with the wrong remark, but in this case, i said, sir, i can either -- we can either retain our national preeminence, or we can maintain our processes, but you cannot have both. we've got to thin out our process structure like weeds in your favorite garden. and nothing else actually matters. if we don't thin that out, nothing else is going to matter. >> very good.
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thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. larsen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to explore this last question -- over here, sorry -- that mr. whitman asked a little bit more. because when we developed the atomic bomb we controlled that process. we developed the space program, the government controlled it. to catch up or to lead on a.i. on clown computing, machine learning, we don't control that. it's largely already being driven by the private sector. and so the fundamental question i have, is there a money ball question here? that is, are we going to only be
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hitting singles and doubles, like the dds or the sco or diux, or do we get into an issue where -- get to a place where we're hitting home runs, where we're actual able to do a government investment in the quantum computing, into a.i., that's big enough to set the foundation? otherwise we're relying on the private sector to do that. and the private sector may not want that big investment from the government to help them leapfrog the foundational technologies. >> well, sir, the private sector will and with the grace of god in this country, do what will do well for them. and they should. because that is -- >> i agree. >> that's the strength of our industrial base. so the question is, how we in the department can take on some of the advances that they're making and put our money in on the tasks that we want done for
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us using these new technologies. so dr. schmidt a few minutes ago mentioned that one of the advantages of having, say, roughly ten buckets of priority development, is that when venture capitalists can see the department putting its money there, well, they will go and do likewise. so i think emphasizing a.i. through an a.i. center and other things, we in the department are not trying to build up a.i. to solve commercial problems. we're trying to build up a.i. to solve defense problems. and i believe that stray specialists in there area will be attracted to our challenges. >> so what's the return on investment to that, dr. schmidt, in the private sector? for the private sector? would you turn your microphone on, please? >> i apologize. >> the investments are being made in machine learning and big data are fundamental to the future of those industries. i can assure that you -- it's very clear.
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talking about the r.o.i. for them to have the d.o.d. to invest in it or for the d.o.d. to utilize that technology, which may or may not be proprietary. >> historically, the investment kick started many of the industries i've been part of. and today, for example, they are funding key investments in the area you're describing. we benefit from key research. is it a question of a military program, then it has to be looked at with a cost program. and to the degree they can make it easier for the company to work with the government, my answer to all of this is more. so an a.i. center which we're proposing as part of my group that is run by the d.o.d., it puts more money into working on hard problems. >> my concern is less about any one military program.
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there's a million of them and there will be a million more. bits the foundational technology investment where we don't, as a government, we don't control that like we did when we developed the atomic bomb or the space program. we were the first entry, the first in the market but we aren't the first on a.i., machine learning, go down all the list that's we're competing with on china and russia. i'm trying to get past, or get through talking about, you know, the dds or the sco where we're borrowing technologies to utilize something new. and talking more about the foundational technology that's we have to invest in to be where you want to be, dr. griffin, in five years, on directed energy and ten years on directed
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energy. we're going to be ten years on computing by the d.o.d. we don't seem to control that as much. because of the great innovative system we have. that's a fundamental challenge that i would like the hear a better answer to. thank you. my time is up. i apologize. >> but if you want to make comment -- i think the relationship between industry and the funding that has come from government has been profound. as a college student, i was on grants. the more basic research that you all in aggregate can fund across the sciences and so forth, it really does benefit military mission. it really does benefit the defense of our nation. it may be indirected but the fact is, everybody conversation
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we've had this morning comes from the research that created it. >> mr. scott? >> thank you. dr. griffin, i respectfully want to bring up what the chairman >> thank you mister chairman. dr. griffin, i want to bring up what the chairman brought up earlier. we received the testimony at 9:20 am, that makes it difficult for us to do our job. this seems to be becoming more commonplace from the dod, that we do not get the testimony in a timely matter. you gave the example of the drones, the undersecretary and the four-star general that you were with, that neither one of you had the authority to do what both of you thought needed to be done with regard to the procurement, potentially wargames with drones. my question gets back to, is
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that real or perceived that you don't have the authority? show me the language that prohibits you from doing what you and the four-star want to do and i think you would find the committee willing, in a bipartisan matter, to remove that language from the law. >> sir, first of all, i again apologize for being late with the testimony and i will work to see that that never happens again. the fault is mine and i will remedy it. with regard to, there is no language in the law specifically prohibiting me from doing what you suggested in the example i cited. there is no language that specifically gives myself for this particular four-star the permission to do it. absent the documented permission to do it, it is
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presumed that you cannot do it. this is a cultural issue within the executive branch of the government at large, not just the dod. >> i agree, it is cultural. if we, as a government, are going to take the position that our dod and the people who run the dod, on the civilian side and the uniformed personnel side, have to have the express written of congress to do anything, then we need to be learning other languages, because at some point someone is going to conquer us. my question then gets to, how do you break that culture? congress does not prohibit you from doing what you and the general agree need to be done. it is a culture. it is a decision made inside the dod, to not do things that need to be done. >> yes sir, but let me expand my answer slightly more. unless i can find something in
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authorized and appropriated language in funding which fits the category, say a response to swarming drones, unless i can find money which is appropriated and authorized for that purpose, i don't have a documentable, if you will, chain of permission going to the very top of the government that allows me to do these things. so, absent a clear path for the use of money, by definition, i am using it inappropriately. >> i am almost out of time. if i could though, the pistol example. the army took 10 years to buy a new pistol. fortunately they had a new pistol that worked, but when you ask the army where they took 10 years, they can't answer the question.
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it is a bureaucracy that is built upon a bureaucracy and there is a lot of blame to go around. we know what the problems are, we need to know how to eliminate and remove those problems. one of my concerns as we work on these issues, i know you are very turned into the private sector, whether or not it will be uniformed personnel or civilian personnel that are actually the best solution for us in the programming aspect of things. even in the civilian personnel, ags seven starting pay is $35,000 a year. that is someone with a college degree. how do we compete with those pay scales. what are your thoughts on uniformed versus civilian personnel and the programming fields. >> we are fortunate that a number of people are willing to work for very low wages out of patriotic duty to solve these
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problems and will do so until they feel that their ideas, innovative ideas, or ignored by their bosses and then they leave. i have encountered many people who go to much higher-paying opportunities in the private sector. if we want to do this long- term, we have to have softer budgets, where the contractors are being paid market wages. that is legally achievable, it is just not done as practice. and you all have given up permission for this to happen. >> dr. griffin, schmidt, i have the honor of representing a number of universities in my district. both of these institutions participate in a number of research opportunities offered by the department of defense. the experience has not only been rewarding for dod as it
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enhances technological edge, but also for the students. these partnerships allow students to pursue advanced research and directly impact the security of our nation. i believe it is critical for dod and congress to expand these dod-academia partnerships as part of dod's effort to foster and promote a culture of innovation. how important are these dod- academia partnerships and enhancing innovation? are there any new partnerships in dod to expand and create new partnerships, such as dod educational partnership agreements and university affiliated research centers? >> to the last part of your question, sir, i don't know at this point if we have any new partnerships planned or what those plans might be. i will be happy to look into that. with regard to history, however, i myself spent 11 years in dod
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and nasa. i am the strongest possible believer in the value of these laboratories and centers and such. where the u.s. government partners with the university to bring a technology development focused on a particular area. so, for example, with nasa and jpl, of course the dod has a lot of interest in jpl as well, we hire caltech to run jpl for the benefit of the government and the taxpayers. it has been an extraordinarily productive thing to do. i could repeat that same story with regard to the johns hopkins applied physics laboratory or loss elements, or many others. this is what got us where we
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are. one of my goals is to make sure that this partnership is strengthened and reaffirmed into the future. >> one of the best ways to address the shortfalls in innovation is to work more with america's universities which are top of class globally. the more we can do that, the better. i should highlight that uc santa barbara is a center of extraordinary progress on quantum community -- quantum computing. many of the major breakthroughs in quantum computing are coming from the physics department there. >> think you both. mister chair, i yield back. >> in a full committee hearing last week, general alexander, who as you know is the former commander of u.s. cyber command, stated, the leader in artificial intelligence and quantum will be the next superpower. i am deeply concerned that we
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must be able to keep pace with adversaries like china when it comes to their investment in ai. as you said, china has perfectly stated their goal to be a global leader when it comes to ai by 2030. that is not far away. what specific steps do we need to take within the dod, in addition to research and development, to ensure we are able to keep pace and surpass adversaries. and mister griffin, if you can explain what we are currently doing with the dod regarding ai. >> as we discussed earlier, with doctor griffin, hypersonic's was a first among a number of firsts. in order to do ai, you need to have data for training. the dod, broadly speaking, has a great deal of data that is not stored anywhere or in
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places where the program is no longer alive. getting all that data in a place that is usable, discoverable and useful for the mission at hand is crucial. i have highlighted the importance of having some sort of ai center, from my perspective, if it is done in conjunction with universities. the third is that the majority of the contractors that are used by the dod are not ai capable at this moment, although they are all working on it. again, i would encourage the specification and the current process needs to actually stage what -- to actually state what problem they need to solve. a typical example would be you are worried about a swarming drone problem with autonomy. that is a good example of a problem. where is the research, the tools, the drones, the counter drowns, all of these types of
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questions need to be asked, but they need to be asked in the context that causes the data to be stored in the algorithms created and funded. >> the defense innovation board has recommended, schmidt has emphasized the need for an ai center. i believe in his hearing, recently, the secretary affirmed that the dod will establish an ai center. i believe that comes under my area and we are looking right now, as we speak, about things like how do we structure it, who should lead it, where it should be, how we should structure our other departmental research to focus through that. so these are ongoing questions that we are addressing this week. currently, i was briefed
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recently and told, i can't verify the number, but i was told we have 592 separate ai related projects across the department. we need to bring some focus to all of that. i think that is what you are getting at, ma'am. >> to follow-up, doctor schmidt, some of the technology companies we've talked with and particularly those contributing in the areas of ai have a reluctance to work with dod. i know you are not here today in your capacity with google, but you are familiar with some of the news articles related to the workforces questioning and concerns regarding dod's project maven. how do we overcome this skepticism? i think the private sector workforce is critically important to be able to leverage their innovations when it comes to what dod is doing with ai specifically. >> because of my role in both organizations, i have been deliberately kept out of the particulars here. so i honestly can't answer
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maven questions at all, i honestly don't know. my sense of the industry, to answer your question, is the industry is going to come to some sort of agreement on ai called principles. what is appropriate use and what is not. my guess is there will be some kind of consensus among key industry players on that. that process, which will take a little while, will probably then inform how doctor griffin and his teams leverage, work with and work against, what have you, i think it is a matter of speculation, but my guess is that is the path. >> thank you, my time is about to expire. >> gentlemen, thank you for being here for your appropriation as well as your testimony. he talked about outside universities, what about
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internal universities? defense-related universities? postgraduate school, for example. are they contributing to this education? instead of having a top-down, basically from the bottom up, from people within the department of defense? >> one of the goals for the navy, because of its location and storied history of training top leaders in the navy, to have it serve as an innovation hub and in particular have business context with the community, that is then -- that is an objective they have. we support that. in general, the educational systems within the military is a broad statement could be improved by working with and sharing abilities with the traditional public sector universities, et cetera. in other words, a university that is private and isolated does not serve the military well. a university or training program or open unification --
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open innovation program serves both sides. >> i would agree. i am very familiar with the postgraduate school and somewhat familiar with the air force institute of technology, for example. while they are quite good at very specific things, the more that they can be linked with their academic cousins outside the department, the more that they become, i don't mean this in a disparaging way, the more they come -- more they become just another university that happens to have ownership in the dod, the better we are going to do. there is just no argument, that taken in total, the american system of higher education is the world's best. yes it has faults and problems and things we need to solve,
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but taken globally, it is the best and we ought to try to propagate that as much as we can. we ought to try to use it as much as we can, supported as much as we can and let it run free, because it has done well for us. >> may i add something, please? the challenge that we face in the government and the military as a mother -- military is a much deeper problem than it appears. many of the approaches are being turned on top of each other by changes in adversarial posture and technology. so an agile, innovative, leadership team is a very different kind of training program, then the kind of leadership that we are training today. so think about simple things. there is something called the acquisition university, where people learn to do acquisition. that all has to change based on
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what was outlined here. thousands of people go through these systems. so it is a much deeper question than it might initially appear. >> thank you gentlemen. i yelled back. >> mister bacon. >> thank you mister chairman, thank you doctor griffin and mister schmidt for being here and providing your testimony. hypersonic, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, there are other areas that we think in 20 or 30 years we will see weapons technology migrate to, one is the miniaturization of weapons. can you give us an update on how we are doing in that area? for example, eventually i think remote piloted aircraft will be very small. do you have any updates on the miniaturization efforts? >> i don't know that i have any specific updates, sir.
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there are a number of areas, whereas you indicate, there is a drive to miniaturize. when you have that driver, you will generally get results. today, for example, i started in missile defense when the best and first interceptor we could build weighed a ton. i do not say that as an exaggeration, it literally weighed one ton. the missile defenses that we have at fort greeley and vandenberg today, ground-based defenses, the interceptor ray, a couple of hundred kilograms. can we make them smaller and lighter? yes, and we will, because our next advance will be the multi- object kill vehicle, where one can support several smaller interceptors. as you pointed out, unmanned vehicles are falling in this path. not everything needs to be
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global hawk, as wonderful as global hawk is. when we are challenged to advance our technology because of adversarial postures, we will do that. what this hearing is as much about is anything else today, is reforming our processes to allow those innovations to come forward in a timely way. i think both doctor schmidt and i, that is been our central theme. >> i agree with doctor griffin. >> another area that i read about is robotic warfare, the use of robots more. you have any other feedback on that area? >> sir, i am unable to address that question. i do not know the russian posture in robotics and i am really only cursorily familiar with our own.
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>> okay, thank you. we have had some good progress and also some tough times. what have we learned on 35, that you can apply? >> well, the f 35 comes after my counterpart in acquisition and sustainment. so i will be very careful in my remarks and they will be very top-level, but it is not my program. i would observe that a program which is been in work for over two decades, and now performing well, but in work for over two decades, is frankly late to need. it almost automatically cannot be said to keep pace with the threat. i think it is well known, at least on the inside, that the software architecture is not
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one that would've been developed, say by our leading i.t. providers. it is not the kind of software architecture that a google or an apple or a microsoft or a cisco would've provided. so there are a number of systemic issues there. that i hope will be lessons learned for the next spend. i think it would be better for me to stop there. >> hopefully we keep learning with each program like this, that's what we do. do you have anything to add? >> i think doctor griffin's comments reflect the fact that you think of the f 35 and these other programs as harbor programs, but they are actually -- as hardware programs, but they are actually software projects with hardware attached. if you designed it in the way i'm describing in the industry,
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you would have a very different outcome. that is at the root of the design, procurement and operational methodology for these large systems. so think of it as, let's get the software right in the future, then we will figure out what airplane or airborne device to build around it. that is a much better path going forward. >> thank you gentlemen, mister chairman i yield back. >> mister gallego. >> all these marines are the same, aren't they? [ laughter ] thank you mister chair. to train the future cyber warriors. nonprofit. by design it is nonprofit and not government- run. that is something i think has made it fairly flexible in the curriculum and in terms of
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output. but you know, if it was a government program, in my opinion and the opinion of people, it would be really slow, you know, in being able to adapt and change the environment, adapt the curriculum, in this environment we need the cyber warriors to come out as fast as possible, as strong as possible, as smart as possible and is trained as possible. what can we do to encourage that type of environment, from top down in this stuffy world that we deal with when it comes to dod policy, versus what we need, what i would say is a very aggressive type of cyber warfare policy. i will start with you. >> the great thing about cyber warriors is that relative to the other things we are talking about in the military, they are very inexpensive. their salaries are relatively war -- relatively low, you don't need that many.
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i am beside myself as to why we don't have a surplus of such people. we have a shortage. they are the cheapest and most effective part of our systems. i think it is because we don't have a name for them. as mike said, he doesn't have a line item for doing what he just described. so you could imagine as part of a future agreement, you could say we want to have 1000 of this kind of person under the command of the secretary, doing useful things. i think the only way you will get that is by doing some form of numeric quota around the people. in the same sense with the number of ships and airplanes and so forth, why don't we say we need this many people and the system will produce the people. >> before we get you mister griffin, i'm sorry to put you on the spot, but just out of curiosity, if you had to pull a
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number out of the blue, you are educated guess, what is the number we need in this country? >> the general answer is not enough, 1000. in the military, probably some small multiple of that. >> amazing. okay, mister griffin. >> i would just offer a couple of comments in addition to those that eric provided. cyber defense is important to the department, but i am going to go out on a limb and say it is even more important to those who guard our economic systems. banking, financial industry, all of that. and so, the department is looking, we have a new cio coming in from the financial industry. i think we need to do everything we can to tap into people who are, if you will, playing for their own money in doing that.
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eric mentioned my comments, unless i have an appropriated and authorized line item i can't spend money on something, if you want to emphasize cyber security, both offensive and defensive, and it is one of my priorities, since we all agree that we don't really know very much about what we are doing in this area, when you hire the 1000, when you give us the authorization to hire these 1000 people, you can't be too specific about what i have to do with them, because i don't know right now. you have to have a little bit of trust in us to use the money as the need evolves, because we hope to learn more about cyber defense and offense to produce an adequate cyber warfare capability, but i cannot sit
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here and tell you right now that i or anyone else knows exactly what that should look like. >> so the cultural change would have to be on the dod side as well as on the political side, in terms of how we appropriate and legislate money. at least get the flexibility to be able to do that and allow people to fail, like you normally do in the private sector. >> let me help mike out. >> do that in 10 seconds. >> he described precisely the problem. he wants to do something, he can't find a budget item which will allow him to find the bot -- find the money to legally spend it. we have the armed services committee, the appropriators, and then the dod, all of whom organized to make sure there is no wasted individual. well, we can't precisely design -- precisely defined what the people are going to do, but we know they need them and they are not expensive compared to the other things we should be
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focusing on. there are certainly things you should be focusing on, big- ticket items, but i would encourage you to have a small number of buckets that someone like yourself is taking a look at where you say, hey, let them try it and experiment. whether it is hiring people or money going to universities, these are honorable people trying to do the right thing. >> thank you mister chair. i yield back. >> just so i can clarify, are you talking about x number of people in your organization doctor griffin, who you could use as a task force to go do this that or the other thing? because we have this whole cyber command that does a whole variety of things and we have been pouring money and people into that. >> generally speaking sir, when i talk about deploying people to a problem, i am not talking about necessarily dod civilians or military officers, there may
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very well be some of those or many of those, but i am really talking about the necessity to engage our laboratories, to engage our universities, the flexibility to stand up a cell in the department if we feel that we need to or the flexibility to put work where we think it can best be done. but no, i am not talking about going out and hiring thousands of civil servants, that's not my goal. >> i am just trying to think, okay, how do we write something that gives this sort of flexibility as a trial, because it will be a challenge for the appropriators to read to the broad flexibility. >> again, with sympathy to the problem you're trying to solve, i can imagine you saying here is a pile of money, which is not a large amount relative to the mark you normally deal with,
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and that you reserve the right to review how it has been spent, every six months or so, and that you are open to how it be spent. in other words, we are going to trust the other side, but we are going to inspect. you go back to trust and verify. i think that is a completely appropriate view you should take. the problem is that you do that and then for the next six months many other people are saying yes and no, rather than letting people come up with ideas, experiment, come up with new ideas and then at the end of the day, you say we have some good things and we made some mistakes. and then mike or his equivalent will come back and say we will be honest with you, this work, the student. we will emphasize the things that work and stop the things that didn't. that is how innovation works in my industry. >> it is a fair point to say that we are part of the problem by complaining when things don't work.
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i think that is one of the lessons at least that i have learned in recent years. i apologize for interrupting. >> thank you mister chairman. doctor griffin, could you talk specifically, if hypersonic is our number one priority here, whether the main obstacles that you see to a more efficient, effective development of that technology, what we are doing about those obstacles and address, as you are doing that, whether or not our obligations and interpretations of our obligations are having an impact on the research we are doing in hypersonic. >> let me take the last part of your question first, if i might, ma'am. the treaty i think doesn't hinder our ability to do research. it would color, the logical question is, why would you do research on systems that are capable of violating the
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treaty. my answer would that would have to be that our adversaries are already in violation, so i am not quite sure why we are observing the rules of a game that our adversaries have abdicated. >> would you say we are observing the rules of the game ? >> so far we certainly have been. i think that is a question for the congress. to deal with. now, with regard to systems that we can develop and how we can speed things up, we are on a test cycle, where every few years we do an advanced hypersonic weapons experiment. we just did one with the navy's flight experiment. it was a brilliant success. i can't praise them enough for how well they have done. so, as the new undersecretary,
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the question i am asking the navy is how soon can i have a follow-up and why are we talking about 18 months or two years, why isn't it august? that kind of pace of development, as we work our way through the system problems that reduce a real operational system, we need to emphasize development pace. these guys are doing great work. i don't have any suggestion to them to improve their work. i want it tomorrow and i want to know from them, what is your impediment to delivering the next test next august, so i can help you get that impediment out of the way. >> do you have a sense already of what some of those impediments are? >> no ma'am, other than what we have talked about here, our general culture of process, risk avoidance, fear of failure . how many times do i have to analyze the system to be as
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sure as i can be that when i do a test it won't break, as opposed to a cultural mindset that says my greatest enemy is time. my greatest enemy is not breaking a piece of hardware. i would like to add, every time i talk about regaining the kind of pace and speed that we used to be known for, people think i am talking about cutting out system engineering or testing or things like that. no, i am not. what i want to cut out his layers of bureaucratic decision- making, where'd -- where way too many people think their opinion matters in the decision- making process. i don't want to cut out engineering test, i want to cut out the number of people who think they have a right to an opinion, because that is how we will shorten the process. if that sounds cruel, i am
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sorry, but that is what needs to go. >> and you have a sense, doctor griffin, that you have a willing audience in terms of leadership for the department, how will the process work from here in terms of making this kind of change that is a difficult one, because it is a cultural change, but as you said our greatest enemy is time. >> i believe strongly that i have the unequivocal support of both the deputy secretary, who is experienced in injury -- experienced in industry and i admire, i can't recall a better team. >> doctor schmidt, when you have a problem like the scavenger function you talked about, what is the system in place for you to say here is a problem, here is how we need to fix the overall process to address that? >> so by law, my group is called a faca committee, so we
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are not allowed, by law, to implement anything. we hold public meetings and speak to you. we have good working relationships with the senior leadership, but we cannot cross the implementation line. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> can i just clarify for a second, because i think you mentioned that people want to be heard, and they do. they believe their opinion is important, but there is also fear of accountability there. fear if i don't do this right, if i don't check -- cross the tees,.the eyes, where can you, i guess, where can you smooth that process, which is we have to check all these boxes in order for me to be able to move this along? is that something that can be done, that can be changed?
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how is it done? >> it can be changed. we are, first of all, a sovereign nation and the department operates within that. we americans make our own rules, so it is my best professional judgment that i can give you, as regards to engineering development, we have too many boxes to check. if we don't reduce the box checking, we are never going to change the time. now, most of my career has been in government service, one way or the other, through laboratories and such. i have a bout a decade, rounding off, in industry. i can only tell you that there is a fundamentally different mindset when you are in commercial industry. you are responsible for outcome. you're not responsible for process. companies that become too bound up in process fail and others win.
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if we cannot, in government, not just the department of defense, if we cannot in government become more focused on producing the outcomes we seek -- >> solving the problem. >> right, solving the actual problem as opposed to proving that you went through the required process on your way to failure. if we can change that mindset, then whoever, whichever member said earlier, we better learn to speak another language. i guess i am with him. >> doctor schmidt. >> i've never seen it work any other way. you get a group of people in a room with a whiteboard or a blackboard in the old days, and you have a big food fight. you balance all the various interests to achieve a clear outcome. that is how development is done. it is how it is done slowly and quickly and with a sense of pressure and creativity. the military does not operate
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that way. that kind of behavior is, in some cases, illegal and is certainly frowned upon culturally. indeed, what happens is there is a requirements process and a bidding process, then there is a winner and a loser and a challenge, then people are checking boxes and so forth. this is guaranteed to slow everything down. it is predictable that it will slow it down. all which -- all you would have to do is allow the meeting i am describing to work. it is how innovation works. they talk about the golden era, they describe the world where, in the 1970s, you have this plan and these people and you try this airplane, this one crashed and this one worked and they kept reiterating very quickly. that should be the mantra. and if that isn't, there better be a good reason why we can't
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develop in that model. it seems to of been lost today. >> mister chairman. >> miss murphy. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you gentlemen for your testimony. i represent a district in florida that is home to team orlando, a private public partnership that is co-located with the university of central florida, which is the second largest university in the country and a major r&d institution. additionally, a key part of that ecosystem are a lot of these small businesses that are drivers of innovation in the cyber industry. what i hear from them all the time is how hard it is to survive the long contracting leadtime, not to mention tr's. recently, the army stood up a consortium called the training and readiness accelerator. it basically uses a flexible alternative contract instrument
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to field innovative research and prototypes. they are trying to focus on fielding prototypes in areas where we need the most innovation. cyber training, artificial intelligence, those types of things. can you talk a little bit about how you think the department of defense should utilize ota's and other unconventional methods to jumpstart innovation and then how can we be sure that these contract instruments are used to their greatest effect and managed properly? >> so, these ota's have been around for a long time and indeed the congress has recently increased the number of ota's. yes, the system you are giving the ota's is not using them very much, compared to the opportunity before them. our team has recommended, in fact, that the military measure the use of ota's and encourage the use in measurement tests.
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if you set an objective, like doing it 1000 times and it needs to be doubled, i think that would make some progress to achieve the objective you laid out, which we agree with. >> i certainly agree with all that. as to how they can be managed properly. i know of no better approach than to hire people that you trust to carry out a given development with them in charge and hold them accountable for the result. the whole purpose is to reduce the box checking. davis commented earlier. so, again, majoring, congress gave us the enhanced permission to use ota's, i think they should require us to use them and measure us on that. let me however at a parenthetical comment. the whole purpose of the ota's to get around the system. maybe we should just fix the system.
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i will leave you with that. >> do you think there is a personnel element to why the ota's aren't being used to the full potential? >> again, i would go back to the psychological problem. that the psychology of risk is wrong, people should be promoted because they took risks. people should be promoted because they took risks, some of which failed, but enough of them one that whatever the cause they cared cause they cared about was advanced greatly. that is not in the language in the military and the hr policies. >> on another personnel, contracting, personnel issue, earlier this year my colleagues and i were briefed on the f 35 continued sustainment problems, which are accumulating at such a rapid pace, that the air force
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may be forced to reduce their plan by a third of sustainment costs don't fall significantly. one of the key issues that was highlighted was a severe quality difference between industry contracting experts and those in the dod that led to a contract that the department still doesn't quite understand. how can the department of defense develop the contracting experts necessary to negotiate better with the industry and how important is that expertise in the future of contract negotiation? >> well, miss murphy, as i mentioned earlier, i don't have f 35 under me and have really very little knowledge of the program, so -- >> but i think the disparity isn't unique to the f 35. could you speak more broadly to the disparity between the contracting experts on the other side of the table from our dod contracting -- >> i can only say that industry has a lot more money that they
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are allowed to spend on hiring lawyers and contracting officers, then does the dod. it will always be a challenge for us to get people willing to work for civil service wages. to go up against their corporate counterparts. true, patriotic individuals, who will take a salary cut, that is in effect a small percentage of what they can earn in industry and come to work on behalf of the taxpayer to help retain the greatness that we have in this country. but not everyone will. it is a difficult challenge. i can't say more than that. it is a very difficult challenge. >> okay, thank you, my time is up. thank you. >> thank you gentlemen.
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you talked today about increasing speed as far as innovation. one of the things that you said, if i heard you correctly, is one of the problems and challenges we face is that so much technology is available to everybody. it's not really just hours. that is part of the problem that we face. whether it is intellectual property that is stolen, whether it is intellectual property that happens to be shared, whether it is property that comes from the commercial side, wherever. those are some of the challenges we face. so increasing speed, it helps, but it doesn't help a whole lot if it is immediately available to everyone else, including your adversaries. in this process, what recommendations do you have on how to protect ourselves with what you come up with and where do you see the pitfalls today?
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>> i guess i can go first. there are certain technologies that are and should be highly classified and certain programs that we do that are and should be highly classified, that we should try to wall off from others and make sure that we are successful at that. but i will offer, you are asking , and i will offer my opinion, that the way to get ahead and stay ahead is to work harder and run faster. even if we have a technological edge in a particular area, you can name the area, even if we have an edge, once an adversary knows that a certain thing is possible to do, even if they don't have exactly the same intellectual property that we used to do it, they will figure out a way. if they are intent on dominating us, our only
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recourse, our only recourse is to work harder and run faster and stay ahead. that is best enhanced by a free and open interchange of market technologies, of the unhindered flow of capital and people for businesses that are successful. and dod enterprises that are successful. as eric mentioned earlier, stopping those things that aren't working. if we can't be more agile than our adversaries, than in the long run they will win. i cannot say it another way. >> i get that completely. i guess my question is, are we doing enough to slow down their speed, our adversaries speed i guess. walling off. is everything walled off or is it getting out? >> you can't wall things off, not permanently. now, there are a few more progressive newsmagazines than
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the economist, which championed, as i well remember, china's admission to the world trade organization a few decades ago. they now, just a few months ago, have an extensive article on chinese practices of holding corporate ip hostage, if a corporation wants to manufacture in china. this is an unfair practice. the united states and other allies, until we are willing to push back on such practices, we will be handing ip over to an adversary. so there are some things we can do. broadly speaking, if we aren't prepared to work harder, run faster and compete at the technological edge, then we will not win. >> i understand what you're saying, that they are going to catch up at some point anyway. so, i think you were, in a way,
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making a recommendation that we don't allow this to happen so readily and so quickly and so easily for say, china, to inherit our information and technology. >> yes sir, that is correct. i certainly think we should not be doing deals in which giving up our ip is contingent to the deal. that does seem remarkably shortsighted. >> thank you. >> mister o'halloran. >> thank you mister chairman -- >> is your microphone on? >> i would like to echo the ranking members about the importance of developing tomorrow's technology and defense leaders through investments in stem education and other programs that promote
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education. during your testimony, you made observations i found extremely interesting. one of the issues we talked about today is workforce and that it not only addresses the current tissue, but future issues as we move forward. and the needs, additionally, for the dod in areas like ai, in which, you know, i was using consultants in ai in the late 1980s. i don't understand why we haven't moved ahead faster in this area. we've had people in this year to address this and they've indicated that by 2025, we need another million people, both private and government, in that area. and other things we haven't even thought of right now. you mentioned about the universities. our universities are great and
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-- great universities, but they will only be as good for us as the people we send to them. i believe that we can't afford, as a country, to leave people behind that have the knowledge potential, but lose it because of inability to get the type of education they need. we talked herein committee, time and time again, about an all government approach. we don't seem to have the all america approach. on issues. there is a critical issue in an -- in developing a high-tech worst -- high-tech workforce. lack of broadband access impacts the ability for meaningful stem
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initiatives in rural areas. i believe without addressing this key infrastructure priority, our shared goal of sharing defense-related innovation among nontraditional and small businesses will not achieve its full potential. i also believe, if you do not clearly identify, whether it is preschool, high school, that this transition, right now it isn't working for america. we need to find a way to get that to work. i would like to ask the witnesses how the digital divide and lack of broadband affects the culture of innovation in the department of defense and i believe it is necessary for today and tomorrow's national security. thank you. >> thank you. the issue of broadband is crucial to economic growth in our country. there are groups still left
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behind. there is tremendous work. in using radio waves to achieve the last mile problem. so i have good news, i think in the next some number of years, we will overcome even those challenges. in 1996 we wired up the schools and 20 years later we are getting close to that. i agree with your comment. part of the reason broadband is so important is on the educational side. there are new tools and technology being developed using ai for direct and personal learning, which are available over broadband networks that are interactive and interesting endgame a fight and so forth. so there is a possibility of reaching the most disadvantaged person, a citizen who can really benefit from this, in a way that can materially infect -- materially affect their careers, their quality of life,
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and there military service. >> mister griffin. >> well, if there is anyone more in love with education than i, you would have to struggle to find him. so i agree with everything that has been said. you know, we need to do a better job of preparing our high school students to go to college. i have spent time as a college professor. i would agree with the observation that our high school students are not going to college as well prepared as they once were and we should fix it. one of the ways to fix that does involve broadband access for everybody. that is the modern world. i don't know what the department can do specifically, but i support your goals. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you for being here, for your service to our country.
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doctor schmidt, in your book, a new digital age, you anticipated a lot of the issues that we face today. you talked about data permanence and the problem with data permanence. you talked about the need for internet privacy. i agree with doctor schmidt about the technology competence in the department of defense and i think doctor griffin cited the same thing. but i wondered candidly what both of you thought and whether you shared the dismay and frankly, embarrassment, that most americans had as they watched the senate hearings and some of the senators questioning mark zuckerberg about the technology gap in the united states college and whether there are things we can do to help improve that?
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>> i didn't see the hearing. i was not aware of it. i cannot offer a useful comment sir, i am sorry. >> i too did not watch the hearing, i am sorry. >> are there things you think, do you think the united states congress should improve our knowledge of technology? just to give you an example. one of the senators asked mark zuckerberg, how does he make money on facebook when he doesn't charge for these services. another senator didn't know what cookies were. i can go through it. i'm not saying this in a disparaging way, i'm just wondering, do you think the united states college should be able to deal with matters of defense and artificial intelligence for education? >> i can say the area we are describing now is pretty technical and i would not expect an average citizen to understand them.
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i do think that more briefings for congress on the impact, i will pick my favorite area, artificial intelligence, would be helpful. so the leaders of our nation could understand the good, the bad, the restrictions, what they are good for and their implications. my industry, as you know very well because you represent us, is gaga over ai and its application in our businesses. it is important that we understand that. >> broadly speaking, i think most of us are aware that having educational and cultural and all kinds of diversity and decision-making groups, aids the decision-making. the more points of view you can bring to a task before you have to make a decision, generally the better you will do.
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i think that would probably be a good thing. i have had many years now of working with the congress and i don't generally find that the issues confronting us are caused by a failure of the congress to understand what we are saying. the issue seemed to be more systemic as doctor schmidt was pointing out earlier, i can use better words, so i will quote him the best i can. we have a system that doesn't really work. as winston churchill famously said about democracy, it is the worst of all systems except all the others we have tried. some of these things seem to be
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endemic to the nature of representational democracy and we struggle on to do the best we can. >> if i could ask one final question and then i would give you both the last word. in your book you did talk about privacy and regulation of privacy. when we are dealing with artificial intelligence and all the positives, probably more important than ever. we have been thinking about what an internet bill of rights would look like, something maybe not as expensive as the gdpr, but within the american context, i wonder if you and doctor griffin have thoughts about how to get technology leaders in that conversation, to ensure the american public, that congress can protect their privacy in a bipartisan way? >> there have been a number of attempts at doing this and i think many people are sympathetic to the idea you are proposing. the devil is in the details, as
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you know. so i would encourage the three of you to work hard, you know our industry very well, and you try to represent the best you can, to try to find that balance . in our book, from years ago, we said you need to fight for your privacy or you will lose it. i remember writing that sentence. it is so easy for the public to get information about you. private information about you to become available without your knowledge. i think there must be a way to enshrine that principle, that the right balance between interests.
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say, the i.t .industry will do business with the department of justice. >> there is a general fear that the over head costs will kill the startup, and it would be very helpful if we had a number of companies that had started with an idea had had from the dod to get through the process and had ultimately become hugely successful in the new paradigm, and if we had a couple companies like that that we could point to in our narrative, i think it would encourage more of that. it's the hit business. we need a couple of hits from companies that are good businesses that also served the dod. the iux is an attempt at that. there are other initiatives for
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a couple of wins. i wanted to say to all of you it's important not to feel helpful in our situation but rather be clear and assertive that this is a system that mike said that operates under the laws of our nation. we can change it. so we've highlighted a couple of examples of things which don't make any sense when you're in the middle of the system if i could paraphrase you. it just doesn't make any sense. >> exactly. >> why don't all of us collectively engage in a discussion as to how to eliminate the nonsensical behaviors, right? at least have the debate. it feels like the debate is not occurring to me. as a private citizen, it feels like everybody is sort of repeating the old criticisms. this screwed up or this procedure was the problem rather than saying this system was not architected. how would we architect the system to address at least the stupid stuff? i assume you're okay with that?
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>> i -- again, i couldn't agree more. we have -- eric and i have a remarkably consistent alignment. i simply know that when developing new things that have not been done before, it says -- it is hard to get it right. it's easy to make mistakes along the way. when you are doing it, you are guided by a single-minded focus on an end goal. when i'm doing that, i cannot tell you up front what the requirements are to be, how it will come out in the long run, what contractors i need, what people i need, what system practices i'm going to use. it depends. so if -- if in the advanced development stage which i will say includes things up through operational prototypes so real operators can have experience
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with the thing before deciding to go into production, if up through the operational prototyping phase, you can give the department as much flexibility as possible to not know exactly how we're going to get to the goals we all share, give us the flexibility to not know how we're going to get there and hold us accountable for out comes instead of processs, that's the best thing that you can do. thank you, sir. >> that's helpful. the only thing i would quibble with you about is i don't think it's business as usual at this point. my sense is, we have a combination of leadership at the department that is committed to reforms. we have more bipartisan interest in congress committed to reforms. and we -- i have this sense of
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urgency that ya'll have described in another sense that this is a chance to improve our processes. none of us will be satisfied. it won't go far enough but we have an opportunity here that with ya'll's guidance and a little willpower, we can make significant improvements. so that's part of one of the reasons that i wanted to have this hearing in public today. i appreciate very much both of you being here and in about five minutes or so, we will continue our discussion in classified sessions upstairs. this hearing stands adjourned.
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this weekend, c span's city tour takes you to fort worth, texas and we'll exexplore fort worth's literary scene. we'll explore the history of the democratic party in texas in his book, blue texas, the making of a democratic coalition in the civil rights era. >> above all, i tell how activists from different groups, african-americans, mexican-americans, and whites slowly came together and built a coalition for civil rights and labor rights and political power. >> then we'll visit texas christian university's special collections to see the items from the " "in their shoes exhibits" and the famous work sole sister, and a look at jfk's visit to general worth
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square wherely gave an inprompt u speech the morning he was assassinated. >> the other half of the day was fort worth where everything seemed possible. ideas were important. leadership was important. that part of the day was important to remember. >> then a visit to the stock yards historic visit. watch c span's city's tour saturday at noon eastern and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c- span 3 working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. this weekend on real america on american history tv, the 1988 u.s.-moscow summit between ronald reagan and
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soviet leader mikhail gorbachev. >> the way of democracy is sometimes a complicated way and sometimes trying but it's a good way and we believe the best way, and once again, mr. general secretary, i want to expend to you and to all those who labored so hard for this moment my warmest personal thanks. >> watch real america sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, on c-span 3. tom beaty, we are about to air interviews that you conducted, oral histories with those on the front line of the combat. how did this project come about? >> sure. i grew up a big history buff, i guess. i didn't grow up in a military family and loved hearing the actual stor


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