Jennifer McArdle is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a Product Strategist at Improbable LLC, an emerging global leader in distributed simulation technology for military planning, training, and decision support. Her research focuses on military innovation, readiness, and synthetic training. She currently serves as an expert member of a NATO technical working group that is developing cyber effects for the military alliance’s mission and campaign simulations. Her work has been featured in Real Clear World, The Cyber Defense Review, National Defense Magazine, and War on the Rocks, among others. Ms. McArdle previously served as an Assistant Professor of Cyber Defense at Salve Regina University, where she lectured on the relationship between national security and disruptive technologies.
In our interview with Ms. McArdle, we discuss the future of the Synthetic Training Environment, flexibility and scalability in training systems, and the critical need for a new agile approach to training that can keep pace with the dynamic character of warfare. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:
Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of “The Convergence,” featuring our interview with Terry Young, Founder and CEO, sparks & honey — “a cultural intelligence consultancy helping organizations understand explosive and immediate cultural shifts, as well as cultural tastes that develop over time.” We will discuss the future of workplaces, the meaning of true diversity and how to achieve and measure it, and how to leverage AI and machine learning to build cultural intelligence across a wide spectrum of future topics on 14 October 2021!
If you enjoyed this post and podcast, check out the following related content:
From Legos to Modular Simulation Architectures: Enabling the Power of Future (War) Play, by Jennifer McArdle and Caitlin Dohrman
The Synthetic Training Environment [view via a non-DoD network], presented by then MG Maria Gervais, Director, STE Cross Functional Team (CFT) / Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center-Training (DCG, CAC-T), from the Mad Scientist Installations of the Future Conference, co-sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (OASA (IE&E)) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) on 19-20 June 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, and see her associated slide deck
The STE discussion in the Top Ten Takeaways from the Installations of the Future Conference
Fight Club Prepares Lt Col Maddie Novák for Cross-Dimension Manoeuvre, by LTC(P) Arnel David, U.S. Army, and Major Aaron Moore, British Army, along with their interview in The Convergence: UK Fight Club – Gaming the Future Army and associated podcast
The Convergence: The Future of Software with Major Rob Slaughter, then listen to the associated podcast
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or TRADOC.
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 ...
In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Samantha North, cyber investigator and consultant, who is completing her final year of a PhD in computational social science at the University of Bath. Ms. North’s research focuses on understanding the drivers of tribalism in online political behavior, using data science methods to analyze large data sets and behavioral psychology theory to guide the interpretation. She also explores the factors that make social media users more susceptible to disinformation. Her objective is to understand what drives tribalism in online political behavior, using a mix of data science and behavioral psychology. In today’s podcast, Samantha North discusses political tribalism online and our susceptibility to disinformation: People divide themselves into groups based on their similarities. Loyalties to these tribes increases self-esteem, and requires the designation and mistreatment of an outgroup. Disinformation targets these tribal divisions and attempts to amplify them. Despite the rise of fact-checking and counter-disinformation efforts, disinformation is still extremely effective, exposing the ease with which adversaries can exploit human cognitive biases. Disinformation tactics mirror digital marketing strategies. Thus, marketers and psychologists will be essential to understanding and combatting disinformation. Conspiracy theories, like those created in local, private Facebook groups, pose a bigger dangerthan individual fake news stories, as they create real-world grassroots action. Incentives for social media platforms to regulate disinformation based on tribalism are growing, especially as these trends are contributing to real-world actions. The future of disinformationwill probably include rises in “disinformation for money,” deepfakes, and malinformation (true information manipulated for nefarious or misdirecting purposes). The DoD and campaigns to counter political tribalism cannot only fixate on foreign actors because there are homegrown groups also looking to inflame divisions. There must also be more of a focus on how conspiracy theories form over time, especially ...
While Shubhi Mishra, founder and CEO of Raft, is a lawyer and data scientist by training, she’s better known as an intentional government technology (GovTech) disruptor at heart. She loves solving complex problems, even the kind that give you a headache while you’re working through them. But that process of discovery, of realization, and coming to a solution makes it all worthwhile. Her passion is working with bleeding-edge technology focused on the defense sector. Raft provides an innovation space for people who are similarly mission-focused, tackling vexing challenges with passion and enthusiasm. Ms. Mishra seeks to inspire other women in and out of the GovTech space and excite them enough to join the movement of providing better solutions and services to the defense industry through sustainable, emerging technology. In today’s interview, Ms. Mishra discusses wicked problems in national security; finding creative, mission-focused solutions; and equipping the DoD with sustainable, emerging technology. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Raft’s strategy seeks to build a data fabric, or mesh, on top of data lakes, to reduce silos and increase communication among data resources. This enables faster decision making, which ultimately benefits our warfighters. When delivering a data product, it is important to maintain a human-centered design which considers for whom you are building the product. It is critical to experiment with the project and obtain user feedback. When working with historical datasets, one must consider:  If the full data is present. Can other datasets be integrated to get a better picture? How will we measure the success of the algorithm we are using the data to build? Will we obtain a new result, or are we simply pattern matching?  Who can we get comments from ...