May 27, 2022

Artificial Intelligence’s Role in Trusted National Security Supply Chains

By Lt Col Gabe S. Arrington and CDR Andrew J. Adams

U.S. economic prosperity and national security is at risk due to a dependency on the resiliency, diversity, and security of global supply chains. The U.S. government established Executive Orders, Acts of Congress, and Federal Task Forces that champion the dire need for supply chain reform to protect all aspects of national power. The American public has felt the impact of consumer product availability and have witnessed how unprecedented world events can impact their personal comfort. A less evident aspect of concern is the inherent risk to national security when the totality of Defense Industrial Base (DIB) supply lines is not understood. For top-level policies to be effective in addressing this national security concern, they must be backed with pragmatic Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to verify trusted suppliers.

Major technology companies, including IBM, have introduced supply chain AI workflow solutions that support lower costs, regulatory compliance, and product tracking. This technology also has the potential to “self-heal” during the massive shock of an unforeseen pandemic, natural disaster, or cyber-attack. It is critical that AI adoption also evolve in the name of national security resilience to identify multi-tier trust of the companies involved in the process. The current visible paradigm of supply chain management is oriented on point-to-point transactions between top-level suppliers and buyers. The vulnerable sub-tier, or upstream, supply chain network is more opaque, largely due to organizational hesitancy to share information that can compromise competitive position, reveal compliance posture, or highlight security concerns.

U.S. economic prosperity and national security is at risk due to a dependency on the resiliency, diversity, and security of global supply chains.

The illusive picture of full-tier supply sources available to regulators and national security agencies can be exposed through machine learning (ML) platforms produced by emerging AI companies like Altana Technologies. Altana’s mission is to find truth in the global supply chain by pioneering a new technology, federated learning, to bring ML computation directly to siloed data that can never be pooled directly due to concerns over privacy, intellectual property, and sovereignty. The result is a living, intelligent model of global supply chain suppliers on top of a federated network of protected data.

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