The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a challenging of assumptions, and insights from thought leaders and subject matter experts. The purpose of "The Convergence" is to ...more

Latest Episodes

69

December 01, 2022 01:02:36
69. Making Quick Decisions, Quicker with Jason Sherwin

69. Making Quick Decisions, Quicker with Jason Sherwin

[Editor’s Note: Army Mad Scientist is pleased to present our latest episode of The Convergence podcast, featuring our interview with proclaimed Mad Scientist Jason Sherwin, CEO and Co-Founder of deCervo, discussing the science of quick decision making, how deCervo blends gaming with science to help individuals make the best decisions in high stakes and complex environments, how these technologies have enhanced professional athletes’ performance, and these technologies’ potential for enhancing Soldiers’ performance — Enjoy!]   Jason Sherwin, Ph.D., is a founder and currently serves as CEO of deCervo, a neuroscience tech company he founded with his research partner, Jordan Muraskin, Ph.D.  Since starting in 2014,  deCervo has provided cognitive training programs using neuroimaging and customized phone apps to over 15 Major League Baseball organizations, over 60,000 baseball and softball players worldwide, the umpires of the Major Leagues, and the officials of the National Hockey League.  deCervo has been an Army research grant recipient since 2017 and Sherwin himself has done contract research for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory going back to 2011.  Continuing to apply its novel approach to decision training, deCervo is currently launching apps in law enforcement and tennis training to complement its suite of five other apps for decision training.   Analyzing quick decision-making is done by providing simple stimuli to people, imaging their response and its speed, and identifying how their brain reacts to different inputs. This can be accomplished by having a subject listen to a song with an unexpected, abrupt key change; not only do brains show a reaction to that unexpected change, but trained musicians’ brains produce a stronger response, as captured via electro-encephalogram (EEG), than a non-musician’s brain.   deCervo’s apps for baseball players use accuracy ...

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68

November 03, 2022 00:21:08
Episode 68: Back to the Future: Using History to Forecast Conference Preview

Episode 68: Back to the Future: Using History to Forecast Conference Preview

The Army Mad Scientist Initiative is hosting our Back to the Future: Using History to Forecast conference, November 8th and 9th, at the National Museum of the United States Army.  It is our first in-person conference since 2019! The conference will feature world renowned historians, thinkers, innovators, futurists, and industry leaders. We’ll use history to set the foundation for our look into the future to determine what the Operational Environment might look like, what new and unique conditions a Soldier might encounter, and what capabilities they might need — Check out our exciting conference agenda hereand presenter and panelist biographies here !   You can still attend the event in-person by registering here through Eventbrite — Hurry, space is limited! You must be registered with Eventbrite in order to gain access to the conference.  Museum security will have a list of all individuals registered and will check your name upon entry.   You can also attend the conference virtually! Everything will be live-streamed through Zoom— you can connect and engage in real time remotely here, beginning at 7:45 am Eastern, Tuesday, 08 November 2022!    Whether in person or virtually, please plan on joining Army Mad Scientist at our Back to the Future:  Using History to Forecast conference — you’ll be glad you did!   Check out content from previous Army Mad Scientist events on our All Partners Access Network (APAN) Conference page (just click on an event to drill down to explore event agendas, presenter bio’s, presentations, and notes) and YouTube Channel Video Playlists — content from next week’s conference will be similarly archived for future reference! Back to the Future Writing Contest:  Crowdsourcing is an effective tool for harvesting ideas, thoughts, and concepts from a wide variety of interested individuals, helping to diversify thought and challenge conventional ...

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67

October 13, 2022 00:31:19
67. There Will Be Data With Dr. Inderpal Bhandari

67. There Will Be Data With Dr. Inderpal Bhandari

Inderpal Bhandari rejoined IBM as Global Chief Data Officer in December 2015. In this newly created role, he has leveraged his extensive experience to lead the development of IBM’s data strategy and drive IBM’s internal cognitive enterprise transformation. The work has culminated in the AI Enterprise Blueprint; a roadmap for IBM’s clients on their own journeys to AI.  Inderpal is an expert in transforming data into business value and improved customer experiences by delivering strategic, innovative capabilities that use analytic insights to enable growth and productivity.  In 2017, he was named U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year by the CDO Club, and has been featured as an industry expert by Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report, CNN, and FOX.  Inderpal earned his Master of Science Degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and holds a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.  Learn more about Inderpal’s insights on harnessing the power of data and accelerating Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation at IBM’s Journey to AI and Think blogs. In today’s podcast, we talk with Inderpal about data as a strategic asset, the challenge in ensuring new technologies are intuitive to engender user trust, and how Soldiers can be empowered to transform the Army into a data-centric culture.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Describing “data” as a field of study is like the “blind men describing an elephant,” each one will have a different, limited aspect of it, and thus, a different description. Data is now being recognized as more than just a record, as it can illuminate patterns and insights that can re-shape or invent new businesses and products. It is a strategic ...

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66

September 29, 2022 00:31:43
66. Forging the Future to Find the Next Great Disruptor with Amy Webb

66. Forging the Future to Find the Next Great Disruptor with Amy Webb

Amy Webb advises Chief eXperience Officers (CXOs) of the world’s most-admired companies, three-star admirals and generals, and the senior leadership of central banks and intergovernmental organizations. Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures, Amy pioneered a data-driven, technology-led foresight methodology that is now used within hundreds of organizations. Forbes called Amy “one of the five women changing the world.” She was honored as one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 and is ranked on the Thinkers50 list of the 50 most influential management thinkers globally.  Amy is the best-selling author of several books. Her latest book, The Genesis Machine (PublicAffairs / Hachette 2022) examines the futures of gene editing, biotech, and synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is the promising and controversial technology platform that combines biology and artificial intelligence, opening up the potential to program biological systems much as we program computers.  In today’s podcast, we talk with Amy about strategic foresight, emerging technologies like synthetic biology, and what she sees as vital implications for the U.S. Army.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: There are always three stages of work, whether in government or private sector, when it comes to foresight: Inputs (forces, signals, and trends), outcomes (scenarios describing plausible futures), and some form of action or backcasting (reverse engineering a preferred future). Synthetic or engineered biology consists of modifying or manipulating biological code to give it new or enhanced purposes.In the “read, edit, write” analogy, synthetic biology gives the user the “write” function to make sweeping changes with more control. This is not limited to human biology as it can be applied to plants, viruses, and any ...

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65

September 15, 2022 00:30:23
65. Turkey and the TB-2: A Rising Drone Superpower with Karen Kaya

65. Turkey and the TB-2: A Rising Drone Superpower with Karen Kaya

Karen Kaya specializes in Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey for the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) within the TRADOC G-2.  She has worked on numerous projects in national security as a defense and security policy analyst.  Ms. Kaya has a BA from Boğaziçi University (in Istanbul, Turkey), and an MA from Brandeis University. In today’s podcast, we talk with Ms. Kaya about the Bayraktar TB-2 UAV, its employment in recent conflicts including Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia-Ukraine, as well as the implications of Turkey becoming a global drone manufacturer and distributor.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: The Bayraktar TB-2 is a Turkish medium altitude, long endurance UAV capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. Because of its inexpensive price point and ease of use, it has been dubbed the “Kalashnikov of the 21st century.” The TB-2 is unique amongst combat drones in that it has a low radar cross-sectionand flight speed, thus making it difficult for air defense radar to detect. This allows the TB-2 toengage and destroy systems designed to provide short to medium  range air defense. It can deliver laser guided munitions that can adjust their trajectories in mid-flight to target. Turkey has been training the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on how to effectively employ the TB-2 in combat. The Azeris used them systematically in the 2nd Nagorno-Karabakh Waragainst Armenia’s Soviet and Russian-made air defense systems to breach the line of contact and take territory before the cease-fire agreement was signed. Their use and employment in Ukraine is different from that of Nagorno-Karabakh, as Ukraine is on the defensiveand has not trained with Turkey previously. However, it is important to note that this is the first time that the TB-2 has been used ...

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64

September 01, 2022 00:36:19
64. It’s All In Your Head: How the Brain Makes Better Soldiers with Zach Schonbrun

64. It’s All In Your Head: How the Brain Makes Better Soldiers with Zach Schonbrun

Zach Schonbrun is a senior editor covering business and technology at The Week. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, ESPN the Magazine, SB Nation Longform, Vice, The Athletic, and Yahoo! Sports, among other publications.  Zach is the author of The Performance Cortex, which explores the neuroscience of motor skills, and was published by Dutton/Penguin Books in April 2018.  Before joining The Week, Zach covered five Final Fours, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA postseason, US Open tennis and championship golf — among numerous other events — for the Times, as well as other business and sports features. Six of his articles have appeared on the front page of The New York Times. Zach received a B.A. in Economics from Syracuse in 2009 and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia in 2011. In today’s podcast, we talk with Zach about his book, how the brain — not the body — may be responsible for athletic prowess, and the implications for future Soldiers.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Soldiers share many characteristics with performance athletes, and researchers have identified ways to chart and measure brain activations when performing athletic tasks. Thesebrain activations provide insights into who can accomplish these tasks quicker and more accurately, helping to identify standout athletes, and possibly standout Soldiers, before they ever “take the field.” Movement is a very complicated system and it’s all controlled by the brain. Artificial Intelligence researchers have created computers that can beat humans in chess and Jeopardy, but roboticists still struggle with replicating motions and movements. Those who are adept at skilled movement, like star athletes, should be considered geniuses. They are using their brains in ways that challenge their decision-making, processing, understanding, and memory.  Emerging and current technology utilizing electroencephalogram ...

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