Q Given the intense media coverage of large language models in recent months, there is a lot of anxiety—and excitement—around AI advancement. How are you approaching this landscape? A Brad: For some CIOs, the answer to that anxiety is to take a strategic “pause” before fully investing in generative AI, and that’s understandable. We’re taking a different approach. We’ve decided to embrace the opportunities that large language models present while, of course, being proactive in managing the high risks they carry. Beyond the hype, my focus is on using generative AI with purpose, in alignment with business objectives, and with a full understanding of the security requirements to safeguard sensitive information. In our case, it’s not just our internal information that we’re protecting—it’s entrusted information that allows us to support many of the most important client missions across the nation. Generative AI gives us access to new productivity and innovative capabilities, and I expect it to provide additional value as it unlocks our collective ingenuity. But it’s important to consider the specific business requirements for using it. We consider the enterprise team view (How are we using it for corporate needs?), the broader user view (How are our employees using it?), and the client mission view (How are we helping our clients move their missions forward with it?). When addressing any of these areas, I strongly believe that AI is about accelerating and improving the human role in the mission. We’re committed to strengthening trust in AI by keeping human beings at the center of the strategy going forward. Q Enterprise IT organizations are being asked to integrate generative AI and large language models into business operations—but there are some foundational steps that come first. What building blocks for enterprise “readiness” do you prioritize? A Brad: AI models are obviously only as good as the data they are trained on. For that reason, a critical building block is to have a comprehensive data management strategy in place. An integrated and effective data strategy helps an enterprise understand what data exists and where it is—and provides the ability to track
Navigating IT Through AI Adoption Q&A with Brad Stone, Chief Information Officer and Chief Data Officer, Booz Allen CIO CORNER Although large language models aren’t new, the scale, wide availability, and imaginative use cases of tools like ChatGPT are unprecedented. Along with novel concerns, possibilities are emerging—in areas ranging from knowledge management to software development and ticketing—with organizations rapidly positioning to invest in and advance their capabilities. As IT leaders explore this new territory, we interviewed Booz Allen CIO and Chief Data Officer Brad Stone to learn how he’s navigating this new era of AI-related uncertainty and optimism.
Brad Stone , Chief Information Officer and Chief Data Officer, Booz Allen
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