ICCWS Keynote Speaker Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ICCWS 2022.

Military Ethics and Algorithmic Warfare:  from the Battlefield to the Cyber Domain

Professor emeritus George Lucas

U.S. Naval Academy & Naval Postgraduate School

“Algorithmic warfare” is the latest military term of art, coined by Dr. Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Software Engineering.  It designates the use of his firm’s latest artificial intelligence software system, “Mega-Constellation,” to dramatically enhance battlefield management.  This public-private partnership has been championed by Army General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the keystone of his “Army Vantage” program, seeking to harness commercial “big-data” analytics to improve information integration, informed tactical decision-making, and effective enemy targeting on the battlefield.  According to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (19 Dec 2022), wholesale adoption of this collaboration is the chief reason for Ukraine’s recent dramatic combat successes against invading Russian military forces.

Palantir tends to downplay this military collaboration in favor of its claims of dramatic success in uncovering human trafficking rings, finding exploited children, and unraveling complex financial crimes.  The company boasts that its technology enables humanitarian response organizations to direct resources more effectively toward communities affected by natural disasters, public prosecutors to build stronger cases against commercial insider traders, and public health officials to track and contain the spread of deadly diseases.

In my new book, LAW, ETHICS & EMERGING MILITARY TECHNOLOGIES (Routledge 2023), however, I acknowledge the way increased public-private partnerships are also leading to AI-driven, big-data analytics being adopted to significantly improve cyber security and engage more effectively in conflict with adversaries in the cyber domain.  AI-enabled cyber operations include rapid-response retaliation and even preemptive strikes well beyond the reach of meaningful human control supplanting more conventional cyber defense measures.  These in turn have encouraged and enabled a shift in U.S. cyber strategy from defensive to an increasingly offensive and preventive posture.  As in the conventional battlefield, the unique legal and ethical challenges resulting from such disruptive innovations go well beyond legitimate concerns over prospective violations of privacy and civil liberties, by fostering greater reliance on potentially-unstable entrepreneurial partnerships (e.g., Elon Musk’s “Starlink”), increasing prospects for emergent and unpredictable machine behaviors and crisis responses, and encouraging and enabling increasingly reckless cyber operations by authoritarian regimes (e.g., Iran’s 2019 attack on Israeli water treatment facilities).  Methods of anticipating and mitigating these risks and moral hazards are presented and discussed. 

Can Zero Trust Restore Our Ailing Trust?

Justin Fanelli

Technical Director, Dept of Navy PEO Digital; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University

Public trust in federal government has received low scores for the last two decades. Trust in military has dipped in recent years. Business trust was at a local low in 2015 and has surged back since, passing both military and government. At a macro level, we recognize these as cycles. As researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs and leaders, we recognize these results are a function of our collective actions. These data also come with feedback on what is working, what may not be and where to look for opportunities.

CISA states that “public-private partnerships are the foundation for effective critical infrastructure security and resilience strategies, and timely, trusted information sharing among stakeholders is essential to the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.” If timely, trusted information sharing is essential, where shall we turn? Industry, the most trusted of the three institutions, is turning towards zero trust. Zero Trust Network Access will be the fastest growing network security market over the next 3 years. With forecasted compound annual growth over 25%, this segment is set to jump to $2.1B in annual spend by 2026.  The US Government is moving in this direction as well with the Federal Zero Trust Strategy, Executive Orders, and the DOD Zero Trust Strategy with an eye on implementation.

As cycles go, there will always be a fastest growing set of technologies, but could this be a very different and more promising opportunity for us all? The speed of trust offers competitive advantage, reduced friction and overhead, focus and confidence to innovate and in the case of the pandemic was the top predictor of how successfully a country handled Covid-19, measured in per capita lives lost.  As we embark on these next few years of investigation, experimentation, discovery and results in cybersecurity, may we deeply recognize the sheer scale and impact possible if the investments of your energy and the capital in play can produce the generational outcomes we crave and need.