Craig Martell, head of machine learning for Lyft, is joining the Pentagon to lead its new data and artificial intelligence office, Bloomsberg reported Monday (April 25).

The report says Martell is a former computer science professor at the Naval Postgraduate School who also worked for Dropbox and LinkedIn.

Bloomberg wrote that his appointment will help the department move forward with “combat concepts and capabilities.”

“With Craig’s appointment, we hope to see the department accelerate the rate at which we develop and advance AI, data analytics, and machine learning technologies,” said Kathleen Hicks, Undersecretary for the Defense, in a press release. “He brings industry-leading experience to apply to our unique set of missions.”

It comes as the Pentagon has been criticized for being slow to modernize technology, with many departing defense officials saying the Department of Defense is lagging behind the US commercial sector and could also be falling behind China in terms of AI and other technologies.

David Spirk, who resigned as chief data officer for the Pentagon, said he was “optimistic” about the new office, which he said could help bolster efforts to get more data-driven technologies for defense and to stay one step ahead of China.

Bloomberg wrote that Martell, as head of machine learning for Lyft, was responsible for things like algorithms to underpin pricing, allocation and fraud detection.

See also: Lockheed ends $4.4 billion deal to acquire Aerojet after regulators challenge deal

PYMNTS wrote that after legal action to prevent Lockheed Martin’s acquisition of the last independent US missile propulsion supplier, Lockheed terminated the deal.

Lockheed said it was considering buying Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, a California-based company that makes rocket, hypersonic and electric propulsion systems for space and defense.

The FTC filed a lawsuit in response, claiming that if the deal goes through, Lockheed could use its control over Aerojet to harm competing defense contractors, cementing other markets.

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