The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a c ... more

Latest Episodes

7

April 09, 2020 00:33:50
7. Gen Z and the OE with William and Mary PIPS Part 1

7. Gen Z and the OE with William and Mary PIPS Part 1

In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk to research fellows from The College of William and Mary’s Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS). PIPS is one of the premier undergraduate think tanks in the country. Based at W&M’s Global Research Institute, PIPS is designed to bridge the gap between the academic and foreign policy communities in the area of undergraduate education. PIPS research fellows identify emerging international security issues and develop original policy recommendations to address those challenges. Undergraduate fellows have the chance to work with practitioners in the military and intelligence communities, and they present their work to policy officials and scholars at a year-end symposium in Washington, DC. In this episode, we discuss biotechnology, artificial intelligence in the DoD, and authoritarianism affecting the U.S. with Marie Murphy, Clara Waterman, Caroline Duckworth, and Katherine Armstrong. Highlights from the conversation include: The US can be outcompeted in certain biotechnologies and become dependent on other countries for their access. States with different ethical standards and regulations compared to the United States could more quickly pursue and adopt these technologies, possibly resulting in novel bioweapons. Eventually, bioweapons will be able to target people based on their genetic code. Biotechnology is becoming a democratized technology. Data is the most critical component of artificial intelligence. However, much of the DoD’s data is inaccessible in stovepiped repositories, while that which is accessible has not been vetted — you don’t really know who’s had it or where it’s coming from. There is also a huge gap between those who are technically informed and those who are technically literate. Transnational authoritarianism is the targeting of co-ethnics and co-nationals; for the United States, these co-ethnic ...

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6

March 26, 2020 00:36:10
6. Intelligent Battlefield of the Future with Dr. Alexander Kott

6. Intelligent Battlefield of the Future with Dr. Alexander Kott

In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk to Dr. Alexander Kott, Chief Scientist for the Army Research Lab (ARL). In this role, he provides leadership in development of ARL’s technical strategy, maintaining the technical quality of ARL research, and representing ARL to the external technical community. In this episode, we discuss the Internet of Battlefield Things and modernizing the Army. Highlights from the conversation include: The battlefield is becoming saturated with devices that can do computation, some kind of thinking, and can communicate. These are not just things the Army owns. Complexity can actually be a good thing. Being able to “hide” on the battlefield is a good thing and we can hide in the complexity of the Internet of Battlefield Things. The battlefield of the future will be populated by multiple intelligent species. Humans will be very important but just one among them. How do humans co-exist with those intelligent species? We humans are not known for working and living well with other species, not even ourselves. The Army (and larger Department of Defense) has a collaborative relationship with industry that is actually beneficial. It is not just a competition for talent but rather a relationship that is a strength. A rising tide lifts all our boats. Every war has seen greater and greater ranges in magnitudes from the Civil War up to the Global War on Terrorism. In the future we may see an Army missile that could be intercontinental. We could see artillery “spanning a fraction of the globe.” This leads to global ground warfare and changes the battlefield calculus. Such a shift in warfare could change the Army’s relationship with other services and actualize the reality of multi-domain operations even more. Regimes that are unethical, immoral, and authoritarian lose the technological edge ...

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5

March 12, 2020 00:29:16
5. Deterrence and the New Intelligence with Zachery Tyson Brown

5. Deterrence and the New Intelligence with Zachery Tyson Brown

In the fifth episode of “The Convergence” we talk to Zachery Tyson Brown, who is an Army veteran, analyst, consultant for the DoD, and Security fellow at the Truman National Security Project. Zach is a career intelligence officer now working at the intersection of emerging technologies, organizational structures, and strategic competition. Zach is most recently a graduate of the National Intelligence University, where his thesis, Adaptive Intelligence for an Age of Uncertainty, was awarded the LTC Michael D. Kuszewski Award for Outstanding Thesis on Operations-Intelligence Partnership. In this episode, we discuss conflict and competition, how to create intelligence from the onslaught of data, and structural and process changes to the Intelligence Community (IC). Highlights from the conversation: We have all this data that the IC collects. We spend billions of dollars on it every year, and a lot of it is left on the cutting room floor. We have a clog in the system that gets worse as the amount of information out there keeps increasing and we still have this outdated mechanism of delivery…we can’t keep pace with the volume of information that’s growing out there every day. The amount of data out there is going to very rapidly, probably already has, eclipse the ability of un-augmented humans to keep up with it. I really think we have to disaggregate that whole system. Move about to a federated sort of network architecture. Push autonomy down to the units at the forward edge of the battle area. We’re not focusing on that competition aspect involving the whole of government to use another buzzword. The commerce, treasury, state department. Because that information space is where the competition is happening today and it’s not just ...

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4

February 27, 2020 00:36:10
4. The Language of AI with Michael Kanaan

4. The Language of AI with Michael Kanaan

In this episode, we talk with Michael Kanaan, Director of Operations for U.S. Air Force and MIT Artificial Intelligence. Following his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy he was the Officer in Charge of a $75 million hyperspectral mission at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and then the Assistant Director of Operations for the 417-member Geospatial Intelligence Squadron. Prior to his current role, Michael was the National Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise Lead for an 1,800-member enterprise responsible for data discovery, intelligence analysis, and targeting development against ISIS, and most recently the Co-Chair of Artificial Intelligence for the U.S. Air Force. In this episode, we’ll discuss the impact of AI on the armed forces, how we identify and cultivate talent, and the challenges that arise. Highlights from the conversation: AI is multidisciplinary. I’m not a computer scientist. The barriers to education have never been lower. You can teach yourself these kinds of things. And it’s what you do with AI that’s the real question. But make no mistake, I think the future rock stars in the AI sphere are most certainly sociologists and psychologists. Why don’t we treat programming languages as the equivalence to as the equivalent to foreign language aptitude and proficiency? We have a long history of doing this in the DoD. In fact if you bring that skillset into the DoD, we cherish it, we try to cultivate it the best we can. Well, why aren’t we doing that with computer languages? We need to team the techniques of the old with the ideas of the new. Experience is not dictated by age any longer. You can’t fall back and say, ‘well because I’ve done this for ...

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3

February 13, 2020 00:19:25
3. Modernizing the Future Army with LTG Eric Wesley

3. Modernizing the Future Army with LTG Eric Wesley

In this latest episode, we talk to LTG Eric Wesley, who is currently serving as the Director of the Futures and Concepts Center in Army Futures Command at Fort Eustis, VA. General Wesley has served in numerous operational units throughout his 34 year career and served as a staff officer and director at the Pentagon and White House. Prior to taking over the Futures and Concepts Center, General Wesley was the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. We talked to General Wesley in this episode about multi-domain operations, modernization, and the future Army. ...

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2

January 30, 2020 00:27:04
Margarita Konaev

Margarita Konaev

The second episode of The Convergence features Dr. Margarita Konaev, Research Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).  Dr. Konaev is an expert in Russian military innovation in emerging technologies and her research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia has been published by the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the French Institute of International Relations, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, Modern War Institute, Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a range of other outlets.Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Before joining CSET, Dr. Konaev worked as a Senior Principal in the Marketing and Communication practice at Gartner. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. In this episode. Dr. Konaev provides her opinions on the role of technology in warfare, autonomous systems in the military, the ethical questions that arise, and the importance of diversity.  ...

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