STARKVILLE — High-tech research and product development company Camgian Microsystems is adding 25 new high-paying jobs to support its growth in the Golden Triangle.
Located in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville, Camgian develops intelligent software systems powered by big data and artificial intelligence that drive improvements in the speed and quality of critical decisions for the U.S. military and some of the world’s leading corporations.
“When some people think of the Golden Triangle, they usually think manufacturing,” Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said in a press release. “Well, we also do high tech, and Camgian is a world class example of a leader in their field. We are lucky to have them calling the Golden Triangle home.”
In March, the company was awarded a $6.9 million contract with the U.S. Army to develop a next-generation intelligent system for detecting and defeating the growing unmanned aerial threats to American military forces. The company also includes as its clients Bloomberg financial, Boeing Company and Taylor Machine Works.
Camgian is headquartered in Starkville with additional offices in Jackson and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Founded in Starkville in 2006, the company employs 70 people, many of whom were recruited from Mississippi State University and the region. The additional 25 software development and engineering jobs will focus on creating the future of artificial intelligence, machine-learning, and cognitive computing.
Camgian founder, chairman and CEO Gary Butler worked in Washington, D.C., for many years before choosing to build a multi-million dollar company in Starkville. He said Camgian’s objective is to recruit Mississippi’s best and brightest engineers to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems in national security, finance and industrial operations.
“Our recipe is to stay focused on those types of problems and hire the very best talent out of our region and put them on those problems,” he said. “That’s what we all want to have, especially as engineers. We want to look back on our career and have a real impact on what we’ve done. And so that’s what I wake up and try to do every day is to make sure that we’re building a company that’s having real impact. We’re putting our best and brightest on these big problems.”
The Mississippi Development Authority has certified Camgian for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, which is available for eligible businesses that create new jobs exceeding the average annual wage of the state or county in which the company locates or expands.
Butler said during the past 50 years, technology has evolved particularly in the amount of data generated.
Because data continues to grow at an exponential rate, he said that can create problems of information overload.
He said the military’s future is built around data algorithms and high performance computing. Synthesizing the data gathered so as to eliminate information overload presents a clearer picture of the battlefield which can expedite the command decision making process.
“What we’re seeing in the future warfare is that significant compression of timelines,” Butler said. “So on the battlefield today, the future of the battlefield is around who can close those gaps faster. And that’s really about pulling out things like artificial intelligence to help automate that decision process, to make it go faster, to make those timelines in closing the chain shrink and that same approach, that same problem exists in all types of businesses today.”
Camgian’s Vice President of Defense Programs, Doug Gosney, a retired Air Force colonel who once served as wing commander for Columbus Air Force Base, explained that while the technology does not make decisions, the data offers military commanders the best choices to be evaluated so as to pursue a course of action.
“If you look at it from a human-machine teaming perspective, machines are optimized to do some things much better than others and humans are optimized to do some things much better than machines currently,” he said.
“Neither has perfect knowledge of the situation, but together, they are right.”
Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill offered Camgian high praise.
“Camgian has been a remarkable corporate citizen and we celebrate and congratulate them on their continued success,” Spruill said in a press release. “Starkville is very fortunate to have Camgian consider us home as they further our place in what is now known as the research center of Mississippi. Their support of our military as well as our corporate citizens gives them the best of all possible positions for the future. Their expansion is a wonderful tribute to an exceptional business.”