Texas Representative John Carter Visits HyperWerx™
SparkCognition Government Systems| September 23, 2021
Last month, SparkCognition Government SystemsTM (SGS) and SparkCognitionTM welcomed Representative John Carter (31st Congressional District of Texas) for an up close and personal tour of the HyperWerxTM campus: our first-of-its-kind aerial-terrestrial autonomy integration facility, located within the Greater Austin metropolitan area.
Rep. Carter, accompanied by members of his staff and nearby City of Florence officials, were greeted by Logan Jones, General Manager and President of SGS, senior SGS personnel, and Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition, who also serves on the board of SGS. The meeting included presentations about current work and future plans for HyperWerx, and several demonstrations of SGS’ cutting-edge solutions for government and national defense in development on the sprawling 50 acre campus.
Said Rep. Carter after concluding his visit: “Seeing firsthand the AI technology in action is something that helps me as we discuss issues in Congress. The role of AI technology in all sectors of government continues to be a conversation on Capitol Hill and no doubt, joining SparkCognition to learn more about their AI advancements helps give additional perspective as we debate legislation.”
SGS and Rep. Carter’s common interest in military readiness
SGS is the world’s first full-spectrum artificial intelligence (AI) company devoted entirely to government and national defense, taking proven commercial systems and evolving them for the public sector. The HyperWerx facility opened in 2021 to amplify innovation and enable rapid iteration alongside its customers and partners in a live environment. HyperWerx allows SGS to design, build, test, deploy, and showcase intelligent solutions that advance the national security and defense mission of the US and its allies.
HyperWerx sits within the congressional district of Rep. Carter, a staunch national security defender serving in the House of Representatives since 2003. Rep. Carter has long prioritized securing necessary funding for the military, not only as a national priority, but because the armed forces play a huge role in Central Texas. In 2020, he secured $48.7M for Fort Hood and $60M for privatized housing on the base. As he said then: “It’s always been my goal to provide the resources necessary for the soldiers to do their jobs safely and effectively. These additional investments increase quality of life and help maintain readiness of our military.”
Rep. Carter’s place on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee makes him well-informed of the major investments, planned and underway, to modernize and optimize our country’s warfighting technology using AI. In 2022, the Pentagon plans to spend $874 million on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, with AI projects numbering over 600—up about 50% over current-year levels. It was within this context that Rep. Carter visited HyperWerx to see for himself some of the projects in development that will one day help soldiers save lives and win wars.
How SGS develops AI solutions for national defense priorities
SGS shared multiple demos during the visit showcasing the diversity of applications for AI technology in process at HyperWerx, about which Rep. Carter commented “The technology that assists our service members is very exciting. During the visit I saw demonstrations to assist our troops in the field stay safer and help them do their jobs more efficiently. Any technology that helps our men and women in uniform stay safe is exciting.”
Asked what conversations he’s had with colleagues on Capitol Hill in terms of objectives that can be accelerated and achieved by tapping into this technology, Rep. Carter answered: “On the Defense subcommittee, we are always learning about technologies that will maximize safety on the battlefield, increase efficiency, and help America continue to be a leader. Artificial intelligence is an area where it is crucial that America succeeds, because we know our adversaries are right on our heels.”
But in order to succeed in this endeavor at scale, an AI lab should be more than just a bank of computers. At the national defense level, applications of AI need to be battle-ready, weather-ready, and finely controlled amid unpredictable conditions. What makes HyperWerx unique (among many things) is that it provides a dedicated environment to prove and perfect the concepts of AI operating in the physical world, in real time. Experimentation is a vital part of the process in developing physical applications of artificial intelligence, to ensure that the interplay between hardware and software is as solid as the advanced systems woven into each component of each highly dynamic system.
The iterative process happening everyday at HyperWerx accelerates military readiness powered by AI from the realm of theoretical promise and potential, into proof and utilization: on the ground and in the air. For example, SGS’ cutting-edge family of AI solutions—Joint Readiness Command and Control (JRC2)—enable a common operating picture at the asset, unit, and fleet level. JRC2 creates AI bridges between software and hardware that enable and enhance future missions, equipping national security leaders with improved asset intelligence, force multiplier effects, and optimized decision-making abilities.
Learn more about JRC2 in our whitepaper: Joint Readiness Command and Control – Improving Warfighter Readiness with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Championing AI in the Greater Austin metropolitan area
As SGS continues to bring solutions like JRC2 to bear to help our military stay mission-ready in the name of national defense, another interest shared with Rep. Carter is encouraging key players in science and technology worldwide to view Austin and Central Texas as an emerging center for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Already a globally-recognized tech hub, the region can point to the University of Texas at Austin (ranked fifth nationally in artificial intelligence among public universities) as a strong indicator that AI will continue to flourish here. The first (and only) of its kind HyperWerx will only help that happen faster, as will the presence of SGS: the first full-spectrum artificial intelligence company focused on delivering tailored solutions for government and national security.
As Rep. Carter put it: “It’s only going to get bigger, especially in my congressional district.” He noted how the last five years have brought immense growth to Austin and Central Texas in regard to AI technology, and that he hopes the local community continues to embrace companies like SparkCognition and SGS “that bring jobs to the area and innovation to the world’s problems.”
General Manager and President of SGS Logan Jones credits Representative John Carter with spotting the special opportunity that AI research and development brings to the region, and pursuing it not just for the local benefit, but because it makes our country stronger now and for the future:
“Congressman Carter has been a vocal advocate and proponent of driving commercial technology into the hands of the service men and women who need it most, and the work that he’s championing has created a hotbed of AI innovation in Texas. By taking an active role in connecting local companies to the needs of the U.S. government and Department of Defense, his work has created tangible outcomes that help our armed forces improve mission readiness by leveraging best-in-class commercial innovation.”