Top Scientists, Tech Experts to
Innovate Military Under Trump Administration
January 10, 2017
Pentagon has tapped some of science and technology's greatest minds to
help innovate U.S. military capabilities and culture, and members of the
panel say they will continue serving in the Trump administration if
Eric Schmidt, the chairman of the board and chairman of Google's parent
company, Alphabet, said he expects everyone to stay on to serve under
retired General James Mattis, if the board is invited to continue its
"No one has told me they are leaving," Schmidt told reporters Monday at
the Pentagon after the first board meeting since the presidential
Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a board member who said in
November that Americans now have a four-year mission to "make America
smart again," told reporters the board is there to serve the country,
not one particular administration.
"I think there's a higher mission statement that we all live by here and
expect that that will just continue," deGrasse Tyson said.
Defense Innovation Board was created by Defense Secretary Ash Carter in
April 2016 to incorporate some of the technological innovations and
practices of Silicon Valley into the military.
The board voted Monday to approve 11 recommendations for the Department
of Defense, including appointing a new chief innovation officer,
establishing a career track for computer scientists in the military, and
assessing cyber security vulnerabilities of advanced weapons.
The board's recommendations also included establishing incentives for
"bureaucracy busting" activities that provide barriers to innovation,
along with establishing a Defense Department center for studying
artificial intelligence, also known as AI.
"It's a matter of thinking of AI not as something to be done in pieces,
but to be a fundamental core business of the military," deGrasse Tyson
told reporters. "To think of it in some context other than that would
really be to our own peril going forward."
Ten of the 15 Defense Innovation Board members attended Monday's
meeting. Those attending included Marne Levine, the chief operating
officer of Instagram, and Jennifer Pahlka, executive director of Code