Q: Can you tell me a bit more about what Conducttr does?
A: Conducttr is a crisis simulation platform, where you can simulate the information environment. For example, you have your day-to-day tools; social media, email, log channel, drive – and you can simulate them using Conducttr just as you would on a daily basis. For example, for Twitter you can simulate all of the social media environment that you have with it, and the way that you use it would be exactly the same. You can comment on it, you can generate emails, and interact and collaborate with other colleagues in an exercise.
See YouTube video on the QinetiQ website for demonstration.
Q: So overall it’s a synthetic training environment, which allows people to learn how to deal with information warfare and how media can be used to manipulate situations?
A: Exactly. How to release the right messaging to different factions, different target audiences – and understand how they would behave. Usually in an exercise you have your main mail, but with Conducttr you can create different storylines, and depending on the pressure you would like to bring for your trainee audience, you can release those different storylines as well. So, depending on how they are responding on social media, in this information environment, you can start other storylines.
We can also simulate, for example, different texts, different packages of content, related to different factions – so again, depending on who they are interacting with, we can make this exercise more engaging and realistic for them.
Q: We’re seeing a lot of conflict in the grey zone, below formal war, and it’s really important that organisations are capable of dealing with it. What would you say the real benefits of using your platform are?
A: We can simulate the information environment very realistically. Another thing is that usually in an exercise you will have a very big exercise control team, with a lot of role-players – with Conducttr you don’t need that, because you have a lot of monitoring tools and you can very easily switch between different characters on an exercise. So, let’s say that your red team is to act as another person in a training session – they can easily switch and post and interact with the other players.
Q: I understand this is being used live with customers at the moment, but where do you see the solution evolving over the next three or four years? What other features and technologies are you going to be exploiting to make that training experience even better?
A: What you’re seeing here is the latest version of Conducttr, but we are turning to a point where we are making it more realistic. Every time there is a new release, a new channel, a new social media feed – something that we can simulate, that is important for simulating the information environment – we are bringing it to the solution. So I think we are trying to focus on creating a more realistic environment to train people. Maybe in the future we think about mixed reality and bringing more data into the platform.