Harnessing AI for Cyber Innovation: Insights from Dr. Amy Hamilton at National Defense University

Tech Transforms, sponsored by Dynatrace

Jan 31 2024 • 45 mins

The real question is, what doesn’t Dr. Amy Hamilton do? She’s currently the visiting Faculty Chair for the Department of Energy (DOE) at National Defense University and the DOE Senior Advisor for National Cybersecurity Policy and Programs, and has had previous stops in the U.S. Army Reserves, NORAD and U.S. European Command, just to name a few.

At National Defense University, Amy draws on all of this expertise to educate the workforce on AI and finding the right balance between automation and workforce training. Amy also explores how she teaches her students that cybersecurity has to be more than a 9-5 job, the balance of security vs. convenience, and how it will take the entire country getting on board to make the implementation of cybersecurity best practices truly possible. In this episode, we also dive into the realm of operational technology and the need to look to zero trust as we allow more smart devices into our lives and government ecosystems.

Key Topics

  • 00:00 Importance of training, education and AI integration.
  • 06:52 Cybersecurity, AI and building codes challenges.
  • 09:47 Nuclear facilities need caution, open labs innovative.
  • 11:58 Helping students understand federal government and cybertech.
  • 15:37 Cyber college compared to traditional university programs.
  • 17:18 National Defense University offers master's degree programs.
  • 22:06 Addressing the urgent need to combat intellectual property theft.
  • 24:32 Passionate plea for cybersecurity vigilance and dedication.
  • 26:40 Using automation to streamline cybersecurity operations and training.
  • 32:06 Policy person struggles to tie guidance together.
  • 33:02 Collaboration is needed for addressing industry issues.
  • 38:25 Rethink security for devices in smart tech.
  • 41:16 Choosing sustainability as a guiding principle.
  • 43:22 Overcome writing and presenting challenges for success.

Leveraging AI and Automation for Cyber Innovation

Emphasizing Efficiency in the Generation of Abstracts

Dr. Amy Hamilton underlines the capabilities of artificial intelligence to streamline time-consuming processes, specifically the creation of abstracts. This innovation allows for a transition from mundane, repetitive tasks to pursuits that require a deeper cognitive investment. Therefore, elevating the nature of the workforce's endeavors. Dr. Hamilton's discussion focuses on the practical applications of this technology, and she cites an instance from the National Defense University's annual Cyber Beacon Conference. Here, participants were challenged to distinguish between AI-generated and human-generated abstracts, often finding it challenging to tell them apart. This exercise not only highlighted AI's proficiency but also introduced the workforce to the safe and practical application of this emergent technology.

How do we use AI in a way that goes from low-value to high-value work? If I'm not doing abstract, what other things could I be doing and spending my brain calories towards? - Dr. Amy Hamilton

Preparing the Workforce for Cyber Innovation

Dr. Hamilton stresses the necessity for workforce education in the context of AI and automation. Aiming for a future where employees are neither intimidated by nor unfamiliar with the advancing technological landscape. She illustrates the Department of Energy's proactive role in integrating AI into its training programs. Thus, ensuring that employees are well-acquainted with both the operational and potential ethical dimensions of AI deployment. Acknowledging the diverse range of operations within the DOE, including nuclear and environmental management, Dr. Hamilton notes that the appropriateness of AI application varies by context. Signifying the...

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