APL Colloquium

July 16, 2021

Colloquium Topic: Algorithms of Armageddon: What Happens When We Insert AI Into Our Military Weapons Systems?

Big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning represent some of the most cutting-edge technologies today, and will likely be the dominant technologies for the next several decades. Generally branded under artificial intelligence or simply AI, most experts agree that advances in AI will change our lives more than any technology since the invention of electricity in 1879. However, when it comes to AI and military weapons systems, many have expressed apprehension that the U.S. military might lose control of its AI-enabled systems, and especially its armed, unmanned systems. These fears have manifested themselves in many ways, most notably in Google discontinuing work on DoD’s Project Maven. 

Our paper and presentation will suggest ways in which industry can work with the Department of Defense to effectively insert AI into military systems in order to fully leverage the potential of these technologies, while reassuring the public that our military will maintain full control of AI-enabled systems. Additionally, since the speed of warfare today often exceeds the ability of the human brain to make the right decision, the U.S. military needs big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to give its warfighters the edge in combat, especially in the area of decision making. We assert that the U.S. military will not prevail in a future conflict unless it fully exploits these cutting-edge technologies.

The e-book, AI at War : How Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Are Changing Naval Warfare, edited by Sam J. Tangredi and George Galdorisi is available to APL employees at the following internal link: https://aplurl/m8d

Colloquium Speaker: George Galdorisi and Sam Tangredi

Captain George Galdorisi is the Director of Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures at the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific. Prior to joining NIWC Pacific, he completed a 30-year career as a naval aviator culminating in fourteen years of consecutive service as executive officer, commanding officer, commodore, and chief of staff. His last operational assignment spanned five years as Chief of Staff for Cruiser-Destroyer Group Three embarked in the USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln. During this tour he also led the U.S. delegation for military-to-military talks with the People’s Liberation Army, Navy.

His professional passion is writing, and AI at War is his most recent book. He began his writing career in 1978 with an article in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. His fourteen books include the New York Times bestseller, Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor, the novelization of the action-thriller Bandito Brothers/Relativity Media film and The Kissing Sailor, which proved the identity of the two principals in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph. His reboot of the Tom Clancy’s Op-Center Series includes three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, the thrillers Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire and Scorched Earth. His most recent novel project is a new series of Rick Holden thrillers published by Braveship Books (The Coronado Conspiracy, For Duty and Honor and Fire and Ice). Additionally, he has published more than four hundred articles in professional journals and newspapers.

Dr. Sam J. Tangredi, Ph.D., also Captain Tangredi, is known among his faculty colleagues at the Strategic and Operational Research Department of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies of the U.S. Naval War College as “the unicorn” (that fabulous and rare beast) since he combines the experiences of a combat-specialty naval officer with a highly respected academic background.  He has published over 150 articles and five books on defense strategy topics, over 200 official briefings and reports, and is routinely called by the Chief of Naval Operations and Secretary of the Navy for advice.

Sam served at sea in seven warships, commanding the amphibious warship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49), taking her on deployments throughout the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Gulf. Ashore, he had three tours of duty as a strategist in the Pentagon, two tours of duty in other Washington agencies, was a fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University, was a senior research fellow at National Defense University, and was U.S. Defense Attaché to the Hellenic Republic of Greece (to use its formal name). 

Sam’s writings have won 14 awards for professional literature, including the top awards for naval literature, the U.S. Naval Institute’s Arleigh Burke prize and the U.S. Naval League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan Award.  He has appeared in a number of defense-focused TV and movie documentaries.