US Air Force promotes Lauren Knausenberger to Deputy CIO
It has recently been announced that Lauren Knausenberger has been promoted to Deputy Chief Information Officer of the United States Air Force.
Lauren’s journey at the United States Air Force started back in June 2017, when she was the Director of Cyberspace Innovation, after two years in this position her C level journey commenced as she was promoted to the Chief Technology Officer and now, the Deputy Chief Information Officer.
Before joining the government organisation, Knausenberger was the Founder and the President of a leading consulting company, Accellint. The company specialises in solving problems of national security importance and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission, this experience allowed for her vast success in the Air Force.
Stepping into this new role, Lauren will be responsible for commanding the SAF/CN office, leading the department’s enterprise IT, cybersecurity and digital transformation initiatives. In a recent interview, Knausenberger has expressed her excitement for this new role and says that in the new role she intends to “stay true” to her reputation as a change agent, accelerating digital transformation and innovation and taking calculated risks. When talking about the new chapter in her career, Knausenberger said “The past three years serving in the Air Force have genuinely been the most fulfilling of my entire career”
Knausenberger has highlighted the importance of empowering every airman digitally. She stresses the deep significance of digital transformation as she says “Here’s the thing. We’re 10 years behind,” she said. “Our adversaries are investing heavily in technology and talent, and IT is the foundation of everything that we do, from business systems to classified warfighting networks to air platforms. And what we do now will determine whether we lead as a military and as a nation, especially with regard to rapidly enabling AI and leveraging machine-driven insights.”
Earlier this year, we sat down with Lauren to discuss the cybersecurity strategies and the superhero culture transforming operations at the United States Air Force. Read the exclusive interview below.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”