Virtual Wingman: Harnessing the Future Unstructured Information Environment to Achieve Mission Success, Thomas, 9781288294084

Author: Thomas


Information technology (IT) and its gadgets provide no allure… They are neither a marvel nor a toy but exist solely to help me get something done. This impassive attitude allows me to avoid capability hype with what IT can do and ask, “So, what does IT really do for me?” This attitude is partly due to my mechanical engineering background, and to the practical systems engineering philosophies instilled in me by my father. I have successfully exploited IT capabilities to perform engine cold start analyses, design coal crushers, train missile crews, simulate radar satellite constellations, track satellite parts and construction practices, and create intelligence fusion software. But, with each success made possible through IT came scores of frustrations that sprang from IT solutions. While writing this paper I came to realize that this frustration comes from man having to manipulate IT rather than applying it as an extension of oneself. This fundamental disconnect between capability and utility comes from disconnects between developers and users, institutional restrictions on individual innovation, and general ignorance of available tools, practices, technologies and the art of “market” timing.

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