The chief technology officer (CTO) for a top U.S. intelligence agency said today that working closely with industry is the key to safeguarding the country’s national security and resiliency – especially when it comes to new, emerging threats like artificial intelligence technology.

During the AWS Summit on June 7, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) CTO Nand Mulchandani said, “today, more than ever, we’re seeing a revolution in emerging tech change the very way we live and work and of course, it’s actually revolutionising our society and the world around us.”

He continued, “the advances in excitement and all these emerging tech areas is fantastic and forms a new platform to build new products and deliver new capabilities to people out there. Throughout its history, CIA has actually been a pioneer in breakthrough technologies.”

The CTO boasted during the keynote session that the technology for the lithium-ion battery in each of our cell phones right now was actually invented at the CIA.

“However, while emerging tech is also exciting and happening, it also actually is changing the entire global threat landscape,” Mulchandani said. “This evolving situation and evolving tech is something that we, CIA, take very seriously and it’s a top priority for us as well.”

“Working closely together with industry allows us to make our mission possible and do the work that we do,” he added.

Also during the AWS Summit, AWS Vice President of the Worldwide Public Sector Max Peterson announced that the company’s partnership with the Defense Department (DoD) on the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract is expanding.

“I’m excited to announce AWS Snowblade is now available for customers on the U.S. DoD JWCC contract,” Peterson said. “This new offering from the AWS Snow Family provides compute, storage, and other hybrid services in remote and even denied, disrupted, intermittent, or limited environments.”

“AWS Snowblade meets U.S. military recognization standards that enables our defense customers to run their operations and manage demanding workloads in edge locations all around the world that are subject to extreme operating environments,” he added.

Late last year, the Pentagon selected four tech giants – Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, and Google – for its JWCC contract.

The JWCC is a multiple-award contract vehicle that is intended to provide the DoD the opportunity to acquire commercial cloud capabilities and services directly from the commercial cloud service providers at the speed of mission, at all classification levels, from headquarters to the tactical edge.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.