CNO Nominee Gilday Names AI as Top Tech Priority

Vice Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the nominee to become the next CNO, testifies July 31 before the Senate Armed Services Committee. C-SPAN3

WASHINGTON — The newest nominee for chief of naval operations listed his top three technology priorities to the Senate Armed Services Committee during his July 31 confirmation hearing, with artificial intelligence coming in as No. 1.

“On the top of the list I would put artificial intelligence,” Vice Adm. Michael M. Gilday said in response to a question from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

MORE FROM THE CNO NOMINEE: Gilday says weapons elevator problems aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford are a “Navy failure.”

“I think that that there are capabilities resident in industry that we can harness to our advantage. What I am particularly interested in is how we use data in a more innovative way to give us a quicker flash to bang, from decision-making to action. There is a lot of information at our fingertips every single day; it’s getting the right information to the right people at the right time so you can make the right decisions faster than your opponent.”

“I think there is great promise there,” Gilday added. “We are doing some experimenting now that I’m very excited about.”

Gilday said that hypersonics — his second technology priority — “is a must that we have to get after quickly. Industry is our best partner as we work through this.”

His third technology priority is unmanned systems.

“That is the future,” he said. “We have to look more deeply at how we would operate with unmanned vessels, whether they are on the sea, or under the sea, or in the air.”

Gilday said he “would take a look at wargaming, concept development and with experimentation. We’ve almost doubled the number of exercises we’re doing in the next year from 97 to 171. We’re going to look at these new technologies. If they’re going to fail, they can fail fast. If it’s something we want to invest in, then we put heat on it and field it quickly.”