Torch.AI’s Adam Lurie on National Impacts of AI, Talent Recruitment, Acquisition Strategy

Adam Lurie believes in the power and potential of artificial intelligence, especially in its ability to transform government operations. The technology executive started as a background investigator doing security clearance investigations, and spent more than a decade working for the security wings of various US agencies. After the first act of his career, Lurie chose to spend his time and energy on how to better use technology to change the way government does business.

Lurie then launched and led the corporate business of a social media analytics company that used open source data to determine risk. It was at this point that Lurie became interested in analytics and, after participating in a series of mergers and acquisitions through his work in the “high-speed, high-growth technology world,” landed a position as chief strategy officer at Torch. .AI.

In his Executive Spotlight interview, Lurie discussed the various uses and potential impacts of AI, what is important to customers regarding automation technology, and Torch.AI’s latest growth strategies.

What can you tell us about the company’s recent growth efforts and how you are driving your customer value through contract awards, acquisitions and other aspects across the organization?

Torch.AI uses artificial intelligence to solve big data problems. Every executive in every agency and big commercial company looks around and says, “Give me the details of all my data..” But the problem is that this information exists in data warehouses and locations. It is siled and in different formats. A typical process next involves duplicating the data, tagging it and moving it to a new location. But when you back up the data, you did it that way, the data in your new storage is out of date.

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At Torch.AI we have created an AI-enabled data infrastructure pipeline that leaves data at its authorized source and extracts relevant features or objects from it. Essentially, this allows the US government and big businesses to create analytics and insights at the speed of data–not at the speed of a project.

What can you tell us about the latest acquisition implementation you have made and how it has benefited your portfolio, technical capabilities and driven value for your company and customers?

When we target acquisitions, we look for organizations that have a very specific set of customers and have access to large amounts of data. If we get those two qualities, we can be sure that the company has a high understanding of the objective set of its customers and the use case is strengthened by the inclusion of AI technology.

Last year, Torch.AI made two acquisitions. We bought a company called DataTech Group that does work for the Defense Information Systems Agency, and a company called B23 that works for the Navy. Both companies have a strong understanding of several important government use cases. We have been able to leverage the power of insight, knowledge and experience of our platform to further support our clients’ mission.

One of the challenges in communicating AI solutions is that most people don’t care about how the actual technology works. They care that the technology provides value. Do we provide speed in the decision? Are we providing cost effectiveness? Is there a better quality result? That’s what’s important about using new technology. Our ability to find companies that really understand the government use case at a deep level enables us to harness the full power of AI rather than simply saying, “Our technology is good for technology’s sake.”

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Since there are government agencies that are working to implement the latest trends in technology such as AI, 5G, the cloud and many others, what are your views on the success and challenges that government agencies face to stay ahead of the innovations that make the US a global leader. ?

Three trends or topics come up: speed of acquisition, results-based decision-making, and the ability to hire and retain talented people. When you think about the speed of innovation and the way commercial companies are creating highly effective AI, it’s amazing. The way the government acquires skills like this makes it difficult if you’re going to spend years talking about a procurement model.

As I mentioned earlier, AI technology needs to be result-oriented and provide clear mechanical results. No one cares if technology is on the bleeding edge if it doesn’t provide intrinsic value. The more people talk about AI as a skill and how it benefits the user, the agency, and the population, the easier it will be for AI to continue to be adopted.

The last episode is the talent. Although it has been discussed ad nauseum, there is still a huge talent gap when you think about the types of STEM talents that need to build these skills. One of the unique things about Torch.AI is that we are headquartered in Kansas City, which has an incredibly strong STEM community. In fact, the Kansas City area has attracted significant tech talent over the past decade — outpacing major cities like Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and New York City. Yes, we also maintain offices in Washington DC, but the geographic diversity gives us greater flexibility when it comes to finding the right people.

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With artificial intelligence and machine learning impacting many industries and the US military as we move forward, what impressed you most about the technology’s capabilities to improve decision-making across all sectors of the organization and in all areas? Furthermore, how can AI be used to address the biggest challenges you see in your industry?

AI is the perfect application to support government work. If you remove leadership, management, and politics, advanced technology and AI will be used to provide the population of the US Whether it is to protect the security of our country through the Department of Defense or to deliver improved health care services through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AI has the power which improves the quality of life for everyone who receives essential services from the US Government.


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