38. Worldbuilding with Dr. Malka Older

Episode 38 June 24, 2021 00:28:03
38. Worldbuilding with Dr. Malka Older
The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast
38. Worldbuilding with Dr. Malka Older
/

Show Notes

Dr. Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and sociologist. Her science-fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. This is the first novel of the Centenal Cycle trilogy, which also includes Null States (2017) and State Tectonics (2018).  The trilogy was a finalist for the Hugo Best Series Award of 2018.  She is also the creator of the serial Ninth Step Station and the author of the short story collection …and Other Disasters.  Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, Dr. Older has more than a decade of field experience in humanitarian aid and development. Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of post-disaster improvisation in governments.  Dr. Older is a part-time Faculty Associate at Arizona State University‘s School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS)

In today’s podcast, Dr. Older discusses worldbuilding and inspirations drawn from her humanitarian work.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our discussion:

Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of “The Convergence,” featuring our interview with CAPT George Galdorisi (USN-Ret.) about leading edge technologies, man-machine teaming, and algorithms of armageddon.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider giving us a rating or review on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you accessed it.  This feedback helps us to improve future episodes of The Convergence and allows us to reach a bigger and broader audience — Thank you!

Episode Transcript

No transcript available...

Other Episodes

Episode 24

December 03, 2020 00:55:37

24. Bringing AI to the Joint Force with Ms. Jacqueline Tame, Ms. Alka Patel, and Dr. Jane Pinelis of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence that provides a critical mass of expertise to help the Department harness the game-changing power of AI. To help operationally prepare the Department for AI, the JAIC integrates technology development with the requisite policies, knowledge, processes, and relationships to ensure long term success and scalability. The mission of the JAIC is to transform the DoD by accelerating the delivery and adoption of AI to achieve mission impact at scale. The goal is to use AI to solve large and complex problem sets that span multiple services, then ensure the Services and Components have real-time access to ever-improving libraries of data sets and tools. In this episode of “The Convergence” we discuss how the JAIC is bringing AI to the Joint Force (and the associated challenges!) with the following panel members: Jacqueline Tame, Acting Deputy Director, Chief Performance Officer Alka Patel, Head of AI Ethics Policy Jane Pinelis, Chief, Testing and Evaluation, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML). The following bullet points highlight the key insights from our interview: We have not seen a reorganization of the DoD since the Goldwater–Nichols Act in 1986. AI offers a catalyst for what is next. The DoD has a temporal split in how to integrate AI. AI is now ready to start tackling Phase I objectives to alleviate redundant and repetitive work, but legacy processes and cultural barriers remain as obstacles in starting this work. Phase II objectives of integrating AI on the battlefield present additional obstacles that are measurable. Getting AI ready requires improved open mindedness at the individual level on ...

Listen

Episode 26

January 07, 2021 00:26:32

26. Changing Mindsets for the Future with Dr. Lydia Kostopoulos

Dr. Lydia Kostopoulos is the Science and Technology subject matter expert at the U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM’s) Joint Special Operations University where she is working on developing technology related education for the Special Operations Force Professional.  Previously, she was a Strategy and Innovation Advisor conducting forecasting work on technology and the future operating environment for the J5 at USSOCOM. She has addressed the United Nations member states at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts (CCW GGE) meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) and participates in NATO Science for Peace projects. Check out her website at www.lkcyber.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lkcyber. In today’s podcast, Dr. Kostopoulos discusses the future of competition and conflict and steps the Army can take in preparing for it.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview with her: I think about the future from a point of tech abundancy.  If you think about the availability, accessibility, and benefits of emerging technologies, you can study the flip side of this to identify the associated threats. Examples include the use of technologies by protestors or the use of drones and loitering munitions in small conflicts like Nagorno-Karabakh. There is no shared reality of what competition and conflict is or will look like. In a recent speech, LTG (R) McMaster said that we needed “more strategic empathy” and “less strategic narcissism.” This isn’t about preparing for the war we want to fight because our adversaries will probably not provide us that opportunity. You see this difference in the view of future warfare by studying the growing role of the cyber ...

Listen

Episode 45

October 28, 2021 00:49:29

45. Learning About the Future Through History with Dr. Brent L. Sterling

Brent L. Sterling has been an adjunct lecturer at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for the past twenty years, teaching courses on security studies, military strategy, and operations. He is the author of Other People’s Wars: The US Military and the Challenge of Learning for Foreign Conflicts and Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors? What History Teaches Us about Strategic Barriers and International Security. Dr. Sterling has spent the past thirty years as a defense analyst, including positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and consulting firms working for the U.S. Department of Defense. In our interview with Dr. Sterling, we discuss how militaries learn (or don’t!) from foreign conflicts, what pitfalls await those trying to learn from historical conflicts, how focusing only on “relevant” observations hampers our creativity in analyzing warfare, and what strategists can do to avoid past mistakes. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: In Other People’s Wars, Dr. Sterling provides a longitudinal evaluation spanning the 19th and 20th centuries on what the U.S. military learned from foreign conflicts.  Exploring the Crimean, Russo-Japanese, Spanish Civil, and Yom Kippur Wars as use cases, Dr. Sterlingidentifies how effectively the U.S. assimilated key lessons from each of these conflicts and developed responsive capabilities across doctrine, organization, training and education, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities, and policy (DOTMLPF-P); drew erroneous conclusions; or failed to act altogether. Importantly, Dr. Sterling compares the success of learning from these wars across the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Studying foreign conflicts allows the U.S. military to learn about new technologies, their applications, and novel problem sets, facilitating proactive responsesto problems before they are encountered in the field.   For ...

Listen