How does the US Army deal with AI? RCO, AFC, AI Signals and PE firms

How does the US army deal with Artificial Intelligence?

Two years ago it set up the “Rapid Capabilities Office”, RCO, to deal with emerging technologies and to focus on top modernization priorities, especially AI.

As of November 2018, the RCO is led by COL John Eggert as the acting Executive Director. Eggert enlisted in the US Army as a nuclear, chemical, and biological specialist in 1984.

The RCO recently created the Army Signal Classification Challenge, posted on and, challenging industry to create the best-performing algorithm for accolades and prize money. The challenge focused on using AI and ML to speed up the rate at which EWOs could sift through noise that comes with signal detection. 

“The response was overwhelming,” according to Rob Monto, director of the RCO’s Emerging Technologies Office. “We had more than 150 participants from across traditional and nontraditional industry partners, universities, labs and government. As an incentive, we offered $150,000 in prize money.”

The winners came from a federally funded R&D center, an independent group of Ozzie scientists, and a team from big business. The RCO announced winners on Aug. 27, 2018.

First place and $100,000 went to Team Platypus from The Aerospace Corp., a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center.

Second place, with an award of $30,000, went to TeamAU, made up of a small team of independent Australian data scientists.

And third place, with a prize of $20,000, went to THUNDERINGPANDA of Motorola Solutions.

It’s one way how financial services firms can approach their AI strategies.

The army in July 2018 set up another center to “forge the future”, the Army Futures Command, in Austin, TX, under the leadership of four-star GEN John Murray. AFC is focused on readiness for future combat. PS… as their investment team lead, the army hired the Managing Partner of a San Francisco tech-focused private equity firm.

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Written by

Daniel Enskat

Daniel has written over a dozen books on the global asset management industry and has lectured at universities around the world alongside speakers such as Secretary of State John Kerry, Dr. Mark Mobius, ex-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Professor KC Chan and former Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder.

He is widely sought after for presentations, discussions and his perspective on the global asset management industry, and in the last two decades has advised hundreds of investment management CEOs on strategy and global expansion.

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