AFC Organizes Pittsburgh Technology Terrain Walk for Army Chiefs | Article

Lieutenant General James M. Richardson with senior military chiefs in Pittsburgh Station Square.

Lieutenant General James M. Richardson with senior military commanders in Pittsburgh’s Station Square, against the backdrop of the city skyline during the AFC Tech Terrain Walk.
(Photo Credit: US Army photo illustration by Capt. Nicholas Park; image modified to remove string lights)


PITTSBURGH, Pa. Industry, academia and military came together last week for officials from the Army Modernization Company to explore current and emerging technologies and use findings to better inform documents about requirements.

From June 22-24, Army Futures Command hosted a Technology Terrain Walk, an in-depth technical introduction in Pittsburgh, home to the Army Artificial Intelligence Integration Center, one of AFC’s dedicated modernization incubators.

The three-day event began with comments from Brig. Gene. Patrick Gaydon, who set the tone by saying the desired outcomes of the event include team building, take advantage of the fact that all AFC directors are in the same space and “create[ing] great opportunities for networking and dialogue.” He went on to state the primary purpose of the event.

†[The AFC Tech Terrain Walk] it’s all about naked [Army leaders] looking at current and emerging technologies, looking at what the art of the possible is. It’s all about the end-state to better inform concepts about how the military will operate in the future and to better inform the requirements documents for the equipment our soldiers will need in the future.”

In addition, the plenary opening will frame the coming days with presentations on the history of Pittsburgh, the future of AI and technology culture from speakers Bill Flanagan, Andrew Moore and Scott Stapp, respectively.

During the first two days, participants rotated through sessions with more than 25 industrial and academic presenters in small groups, allowing them to touch the technology and have meaningful discussion with the presenters in areas of autonomy and robotics, data engineering, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and energy.

The final day focused on in-depth concepts and requirement discussions based on event findings, with the aim of producing post-event action items.

On Friday, participants also heard comments from Farnam Jahanian, president of Carnegie Mellon University. President Jahanian highlighted the importance of collaboration and the positive outcomes of the DoD and CMU relationship over the past century, highlighting the recent success of CMU’s collaboration with Artificial Intelligence Integration Center on their AI Scholars, AI Technician, and Data-Driven Leadership- courses. His comments echoed what Lieutenant General James M. Richardson, acting Commanding General of the Army Futures Command, said earlier in the week:

‘The army does not grow by itself. It takes industry, academia, the military – everyone working together – to equip the military we have for the future.”

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