09 Apr 2021

The amount of data that we create, capture, copy, and consume is growing exponentially. In fact, according to IDC, the amount of data we will create in the next three years – will be more than the data we created over the past 30 years.

That sounds great, but it does raise a lot of questions. Like what are companies and governments doing with that data? Is our data being used ethically? What concerns should we as citizens – and consumers – have about the data that is being collected? And finally – does all that data actually lead to actionable intelligence. 

These are just some of the questions that we will discuss in this podcast. 

Today’s guest, Michael Conlin, will help delve deeper into these questions. He currently is the Chief Technology Officer for Definitive Logic, a US-based analytics and digital transformation specialist vendor, and was previously, the first ever Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Show Notes:

02:00 The journey that led a psychology major to become the first Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

09:00 The transition from the private to the public sector – what attracted Micheal to the DoD?

14:30 What was it like on Day 1 when you realised you were responsible for straightening out the data structure and strategy for the DoD’s 3.2 million employees and across its 13,000 operational IT systems?

20:00 The U.S. has a Border Czar, Bird Flu Czar & Cybersecurity Czar – was Michael the Data Czar?

23:30 What are the main differences between being a CTO/CDO in the public versus private sector – and what unique challenges did you face with the DoD?

33:15 Why do we still trust Facebook despite its data breach that released the personal information of 533 million users – but don’t trust the government with our data?

43:15 The role of Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

52:15 Who should be responsible for setting the rules and regulations relating to the acceptable and ethical use of data captured by companies, governments, etc.?

60:00 Microsoft recently signed a USD 22 Billion contract with the US military to deliver 120,000 HoloLens mixed reality headsets. If you were the CDO/CTO overseeing this for the military, how would you mitigate the risks – and what opportunities would you see for the devices?

67:15 You recently left the U.S. DoD and its 3.2 million employees for Definitive Logic and its 250 employees. What led to the change? 

71:30 The Fun Questions

  • How does an introvert like you thrive in situations that require you to play the role of an extrovert?
  • Tell us about your interesting hobbies, including being a blacksmith, enamelist, glass gaffer, goldsmith, sculptor & lapidary.
  • Prince William was recently crowned the world’s sexiest bald man – are you disappointed that you weren’t nominated?