This is an old article and other more recent CEW info is available here in the various threads. Essentially, what the article is getting at in a round about way is the growth/evolution from Adaptive Electronic Warfare techniques, where you have the ability to, in real-time, adapt your electronic warfare and attack based on threat characteristics, towards using machine learning to find the right EA technique to counter the threat and to catalog both the threat emission and the response so that it is easily transferable (real time transmission is the eventual goal) so that multiple aircraft could contribute towards this effort and a repository is available that documents the changing nature of the same waveforms so that past experiences can be applied to generating new responses to evolving waveform using onboard processing and ML. Basically, instead of evolving and adapting your techniques (based on threat performance) within a fixed, programmed boundary you are able to develop new jamming techniques and waveforms in real time using ML.
CEW is essentially the next step in Adaptive EW. Think of a Software Defined Radio that replaces analog parts with digital components that provided several functions. An SDR can switch between large number of pre-programmed waveforms . CEW attempts to make these systems non reliant on pre-programmed waveforms but provide them the ability to create new waveforms, based on observed threat system performance, on the fly...So combining adaptive and cognitive EW abilities with very powerful software-defined Electronic Attack payloads, such as the Next Generation Jammer (essentially a wideband 80kW SDR), gets you far more capability against both radar and communication systems that can rapidly adapt and generate new, previously unseen, techniques.
DARPA had two programs that rapidly matured this capability (ARC - Adaptive Radar Countermeasures, and BLADE - Behavioral Learning for Adaptive EW) and both the USN and USAF have their own programs that build on top of that. The focus was not just on your traditional radars and air defense systems; A major focus was on digital communication and data-link networks the ones that are so often assumed to be un-jammable.
I believe one of the USN efforts (REAM) will transition to in service EA-18G Growlers later this year, so having that on the F-35 or the B-2 for that matter isn't that far fetched since BAE systems, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Maritin have been deeply involved with the almost all the DARPA and USN/USAF efforts. We just won't know the full extent of the EW capabilities on both of those platforms till much later but the B-2 DMS is likely going to be the most sophisticated EW system the US has ever put on an aircraft and its iterations are also likely headed to the B-21. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/North ... m_999.html
More - https://www.afcea.org/content/smarter-a ... ic-warfare