Spring Symposium: How AI is Transforming the IC

April 4, 2024 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM INSA/NRECA Conference Center, Arlington, VA

On Thursday, April 4, 2024, more than 300 intelligence and national security professionals gathered in Arlington, VA for our Spring Symposium: How AI is Transforming the IC. The full-day program was jam-packed with keynotes, ignite rounds, and panel discussions focused on data challenges, ethics & oversight, innovation, and the way ahead.

View event photos!

Morning Keynote

Session recording courtesy of Intel!

The morning kicked off with keynote remarks from Dr. John Beieler, ADNI for Science & Technology, ODNI. Dr. Beieler discussed the forthcoming intelligence community AI strategy, how government and industry must continue to develop the workforce to remain competitive, and how he sees the role of AI technologies in daily analysis in the coming years.

AI Ready? Challenges From a Data-Centric Viewpoint

Session recording courtesy of Intel!


  • Brandy Durham, VP, AI Practice, ManTech
  • Mark Munsell, Director, Data and Innovation, NGA
  • Lori Wade, IC CDO, ADNI, for Data and Partnership Interoperability, ODNI
  • Teresa Smetzer, CEO, Smetzer Associates, LLC (moderator)

Panelists discussed how AI models must be built with a strong foundation that can work efficiently in high-speed environments and easily accept and adapt to large amounts of data. Automation was highlighted as a key priority. The panel concluded with thoughts on the ability for AI's output to be accepted and trusted by intelligence analysts in the field. It was agreed that confidence from analysts will be dependent on the proper deployment of these programs, secure models, and successful training. 

Ignite Rounds: AI and the Future of Human-Machine Teaming

Session recording courtesy of Intel!

Rachael Martin, Director, Maven Office, Data and Digital Innovation, NGA discussed human-machine teaming and the importance of testing and evaluation for measuring the effectiveness of AI-enabled workflow.  

Maggie Smith, NSP Emerging Technologies Director, Accenture Federal Services, discussed Accenture’s implementation of generative AI in data analysis. 

Stuart Wagner, Former Chief Digital Transformation Officer, U.S. Air Force, discussed how Big Tech’s use of telemetry in adaptation can be applied to defense.  

Rounding out the series, Larry Taxson, Chief of CLOUDworks, Directorate of Digital Innovation, CIA, underscored the potential of human-machine teaming to enhance OSINT analysis through smart feedback loops and the deployment of generative AI.

AI Ethics and Oversight

Session recording courtesy of Intel!


  • John Keefe, Special Assistant to the President, Sr. Director for Cyber Policy, NSC
  • Marisa Lightfoot, Senior Director, EY-Parthenon
  • Lucy Lim, Research Scientist, Google
  • Lindsay Rodman, Deputy Associate General Council (Intel), DoD
  • Glenn Gerstell, Senior Advisor, CSIS (moderator)

Panelists discussed how biases in AI are inevitable, however, biases can be incorporated into generative models making AI self-aware and flagging biases for review. Ms. Rodman stressed the need to honor laws regarding privacy and use. Meanwhile, Ms. Lim touched on data hygiene, being cognizant that only clean and approved data goes into the model to avoid corruption. The panel closed out by speaking on the importance of abiding by ethical frameworks.   

Innovation: Shaping the Future of AI

Session recording courtesy of Intel!


  • Jimmy L. Hall, Jr., CIO/Director, Technology & Innovation Office, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State
  • Robin Brown, Program Executive Officer, Chief Technology Office, DIA
  • Sri Iyer, Principal Emerging Technology Lead, National Security, AWS
  • Chip Usher, Senior Director for Intelligence, Special Competitive Studies Project
  • Patrick Biltgen, PhD, Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton (moderator)

Discussion centered on the strategic implementation of AI technologies within the IC, focusing on mission objectives and operational workflows. Panelists addressed the importance of mission-centric AI applications, the need for collaboration between AI and human decision-making processes, and challenges such as data accessibility, security, and scalability. The panelists also discussed technical challenges, including accreditation struggles and infrastructure requirements, and the importance of industry-government collaboration to overcome these obstacles. The discussion concluded by underscoring the significance of partnerships with academia, industry, and FFRDCs for talent acquisition and technology innovation, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to AI integration within the IC.

Fireside Chat

Session recording courtesy of Intel!

  • Sheetal Patel, Assistant Director, Transnational and Technology Mission Center, CIA
  • Dawn Meyerriecks, Senior Fellow, MITRE (moderator)

Ms. Patel discussed her mission center's focus on the national security implications of emerging technologies such as 5G/6G, advanced computing, and biotech, alongside critical transnational issues like energy, climate food security, and migration. With an eye on China's advancements and intentions, the mission center seeks to understand and analyze foreign technological development across these arenas. Closing out the conversation, Ms. Patel stressed the need to initiate outreach with industry on gaps and innovation as industry will be the competitive edge for avoiding strategic surprises by adversaries.