#145 Frank Strickland and Chris Whitlock on AI Education for Leaders

#145 Frank Strickland and Chris Whitlock on AI Education for Leaders

The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.

During this episode, Chris Whitlock and Frank Strickland discuss the importance of AI Education for Leaders. Drawing upon three decades of leading hundreds of advanced analytics and AI programs and projects in government and industry, Chris and Frank address the primary variable in the talent deficit – large numbers of qualified AI leaders. Whether you are a senior or mid-level leader who lacks hands-on experience with AI, or an AI practitioner who lacks leadership experience, Frank and Chris unpack the dynamics between AI programs, projects, people, and technology. 

Research Questions

  • Chris Whitlock suggests a question related to Large Language Models (LLM); how will LLMs perform with contemporary data feeds, novel, emergent topics? For example: intelligence summarizations?
  • Frank Strickland believes that simulation technologies are ascendant and should be studied more.


Link to full show notes and resources

Guest Bio

Frank Strickland enlisted in the Marine Corps, graduating as the Honor Man of my platoon. During his 22 years of government service, he helped lead innovations including: evaluating and transitioning to production the nation’s first long endurance unmanned aerial system; delivering intelligence to the tactical edge using narrow and wide-band technologies; and agile prototyping of big data analytics. The Director of Central Intelligence awarded him the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement in recognition of these accomplishments. He was the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Legislative Director, and a member of CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, where he received the NRO’s Medals of Distinguished and Superior Service. In the private sector he co-founded Edge Consulting and helped lead Edge’s growth resulting in an acquisition by IBM. As a partner in IBM and subsequently Deloitte, he led large practices providing AI and analytics solutions and services to national security clients including innovations in massive scale property graphs and agent-based simulation. 

Chris Whitlock completed undergrad in Oxford – Oxford MS – and began service as an Army infantry officer, then military analyst at CIA. He spent the majority of his 40-year career providing advanced analytics, AI, and management consulting services primarily to national security clients in the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and Department of State. He helped pioneer the rapid prototyping and integration of advanced algorithms with software applications starting in the early 1990s. In the past 10 years his work has emphasized machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. He led a large market offering in Deloitte Consulting focused on Mission Analytics and AI in addition to leading large programs for cabinet level departments. He co-founded an analytics company, Edge Consulting, personally leading the development of algorithmic approaches to quantify the value of intelligence. After an acquisition by IBM, he served as a Partner in IBM. If you notice parallels between Frank’s and his careers, we are twins who were separated at birth. We found each other in 1991 and have done some cool stuff since including our most recent venture, aiLeaders.

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

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