What Does it Take to Operate at the Forefront of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
Saab, Inc. Chief Strategy Officer Michael Brasseur and the Strategy Office’s Chief Innovation Officer Rob Murray discuss the challenges and opportunities for innovation in disruptive technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML), edge compute and additive manufacturing are disruptive technologies. But what are disruptive technologies, and how can we use them for operations that hold long-term impact and value?
“Disruptive technologies are new technologies that have the potential to disrupt the status quo and offer new opportunities to Saab, our customers and partners,” said Michael Brasseur, vice president and chief strategy officer of Saab, Inc.
The newly established Saab, Inc. Strategy Office is helmed by Michael Brasseur and is working to position the company to drive faster innovation cycles and bring new, needed capabilities to life, especially in the AI, ML and autonomous systems realms.
“In my role, I am incredibly excited about robotics, AI, additive manufacturing, resilient mesh networks, and how the convergence of all these technologies can change how we look at aerospace and defense,” said Brasseur.
“If we believe that a technology does have the potential to impact our business model, then we need to take action and adapt,” adds Rob Murray, the Strategy’s Office’s Chief Innovation Officer. “That sounds straightforward, but it’s not. It’s about making a choice to embrace a new path. The real challenge is knowing what the next big thing might be and deciding when to lean into that effort.”
Together, Brasseur and Murray bring to Saab more than 50 years of experience at the intersection of innovation and national security.
Prior to Saab, Brasseur served for 26 years in the United States Navy and was the founder and first Commodore of the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 59, a first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to rapidly integrating robotics and artificial intelligence into 5th Fleet operations. Headquartered in Bahrain, the 5th Fleet of the U.S. Navy is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Formerly NATO’s inaugural Head of Innovation, Murray is credited with crafting the world’s first multilateral AI strategy that includes internationally agreed upon principles of responsible use for AI as well as creating NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) and the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF).
Brasseur and Murray previously worked together at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. When Brasseur was first approached to join Saab and launch the Strategy Office, he immediately knew that he wanted Murray by his side.
“It’s the joy of my professional life to join forces with Rob here at Saab and co-design the future of defense and security,” said Brasseur. “Rob and I view ourselves less as ‘disruptors’ and more as ‘creators’, imagining and building novel solutions to help keep people and society safe.”
“Our goal will be to help Saab’s customers not only achieve what they see as their future but also help them to stretch and see what else is possible,” added Murray. “As someone who has written multiple international strategies, I can say with some confidence that coming up with a plan is relatively straightforward. It’s much more difficult to determine the future we want to build - one that will meet our customer’s expectations and visions - and then implement it. It requires us to take measured risks and step into uncertainty. As humans, we are hard-wired to avoid both (risks and uncertainty). To succeed, you need an innovative culture that supports high levels of communication, listening and emotional intelligence. Working with amazing people who are creative technologists, engineers, and thinkers – that’s what really excites me.”
Brasseur concluded our conversation with this final thought, “AI, ML and other disruptive technologies offer the promise of a safer future for Saab’s customers. At the Strategy Office, we’re excited to roll up our sleeves and really see what kind of future we can invent.”