#48 Bendett and Edmonds on AI and Autonomy in Russia



During this episode, Jeff Edmonds and Sam Bendett–both of whom are Russian specialists with the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)–discuss their recently published report: AI and Autonomy in Russia. Funded by the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), the report covers everything from ethical considerations, to Russian entrepreneurship, to human capital gaps within the Russian citizenry.

Link to full show notes and resources

Guest Bios

Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His work involves research on the Russian defense and technology developments, unmanned and autonomous military systems and Artificial Intelligence, as well as Russian military capabilities and decision-making during crises. He is a Member of CNA’s Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence, and an honorary “Mad Scientist” with the USARMY TRADOC’s Mad Scientist Initiative. He is also a Russian military autonomy and AI SME for the DOD’s Defense Systems Information Analysis Center.

Prior to joining CNA, Bendett worked at the National Defense University on emerging and disruptive technologies for government response in crisis situations, where he conducted research on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD-P) and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD-AT&L). His previous experience includes working for US Congress, private sector and non-profit organizations on foreign policy, international conflict resolution, defense and security issues.

Bendett’s analyses, views and commentary on Russian military robotics, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence capabilities appear regularly in the C4ISRnet, Forbes, DefenseOne, Breaking Defense, War on the Rocks, The National Interest, Modern War Institute, War Is Boring, and The Strategy Bridge. He was also a foreign policy and international affairs contributor to the RealClearWorld.com blog, writing on Russian military technology.

Bendett received his M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and B.A. in Politics and English from Brandeis University. He has native fluency in Russian.

Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on Russia and Eurasia. His research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations.

Most recently, Edmonds served as the Director for Russia on the National Security Council and acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 presidential transition. While on the NSC, Edmonds advised the president and his senior staff on Russia-related national security topics including the Ukraine and Syria crises, Russian military, foreign policy, threat perceptions, and information operations. Edmonds was also the lead director during a review of the United States policy towards Russia, culminating in a presidentially approved strategy that had global impact.

Prior to the NSC, Edmonds served as a military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, covering Eurasian militaries. He has served in the U.S. Army on both active duty and the reserves for 22 years, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Edmonds holds an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, an M.A. from Boston University in Religious Studies, and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has a working knowledge of Russian.

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org.

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