Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: How to Manage a Swarm

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: How to Manage a Swarm

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on how to manage a swarm. Scharre: [You could see] area coverage in this way where there are super rules—like don’t get too close or too far away from other agents. And that uses a swarm of agents to cover an area. Those sort of work for all sorts of military problems, whether it’s reconnaissance or […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on humans out-of-the-loop. Army AL&T: What work is being done on armed unmanned systems (without a human in the loop)? Scharre: There’s a very robust discussion going on internationally and within certain sectors of the U.S. defense community, particularly among lawyers, about this idea of autonomous weapons that would do targeting on their own and are […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Predicting the Future

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Predicting the Future

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on how DOD should pick which advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to pursue. Army AL&T: It’s a high-stakes game of predicting the future, better testing and lower barriers to entry and innovation for the work of research labs and outside industry. Scharre: It’s just so hard to predict what technologies are going to matter. […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Army Challenges

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Army Challenges

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on challenges to automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Army AL&T: If the Army’s main challenge is finding the right places to use robots, automation and AI … what are those places? Scharre: The fundamental problem with automation is that it’s brittle. You can design really specific machine intelligence tools to solve very specific problems, like playing […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: What Lessons?

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: What Lessons?

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on DOD’s history of adapting. Army AL&T: What lessons can we draw from DOD’s history of adapting—or not—to new technologies and new ways of fighting? Scharre: It’s a problem for any kind of technology that’s rapidly moving. When we think about the context of acquisition reform, it’s like multiple different pieces. One [piece] is cost issues. […]

Robotics Revolutionary

Robotics Revolutionary

Ex-Army Ranger Paul Scharre, formerly in OSD and now with the Center for a New American Security, fears DOD bureaucratic resistance could the pump brakes on progress in machine intelligence. by Ms. Margaret C. Roth It couldn’t be a much bigger leap from Southwest Asia to downtown Washington yet, for Paul Scharre, the two hardly could be more closely connected. What Scharre experienced as an Army Ranger deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan—his first look at how robots could mitigate the huge toll that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were taking on Soldiers—led him directly to what he’s doing now as a civilian: senior fellow and director of the Future of Warfare […]

The New ‘Gansler Report’

The New ‘Gansler Report’

The New ‘Gansler Report’ Seven years after the commission he chaired released its landmark report, Jacques Gansler assesses the current state of defense acquisition Army AL&T magazine usually looks outside the world of defense acquisition for our Critical Thinking feature, but for this issue, with its theme of revamping acquisition, we could think of no better person to address the topic than a former undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics who has spent much of his professional life working in and studying defense acquisition—the Hon. Jacques S. Gansler. He’s currently director of the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the University of Maryland School of Public […]

Action Plans

Action Plans

A host of stakeholders speak frankly on what the Army needs to do to preserve its industrial base   By Army AL&T magazine staff   Preserving the unique and often highly specialized skills and capabilities of the Army industrial base is critical to the Army and to the nation. In addition to the organic industrial base, companies both large and small in the commercial base offer critical or hard-to-make products and services that ultimately result in critical systems that help maintain the U.S. military’s superiority. Yet fiscal austerity is likely to constrain U.S. spending on national security even as the Army faces growing complexities and multifaceted dangers. Some of those […]

Parallel Equations

Parallel Equations

The Army has a lot of stuff to move. Amazon moves a lot of stuff.   Nearly everyone knows who Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is. Less well known is the other Jeff—Jeffrey A. Wilke, senior vice president of the consumer business at Amazon.com Inc. Having joined Amazon in 1999, Wilke has been in a leadership position at the company from the time it was a small startup to the present day, when it is the top U.S. company in e-commerce and one of the world’s largest retailers, with more than $60 billion in sales per year. But Amazon also provides a host of online services, including Web hosting, cloud storage, […]

The Genius of Simplicity

The Genius of Simplicity

Costco profits by taking great pains to keep it simple and embracing the ‘intelligent loss of sales’   By Margaret C. Roth   Army AL&T Magazine interviews Mr. Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Costco Wholesale Corp. to offer a perspective outside of the Department of Defense on issues faced by the Army AL&T community. Galanti, who is also a member of Costco’s board of directors, began his retail career in 1964 at the age of 8, bagging groceries at his father’s grocery store in Canton, GA. He went on to earn a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and […]