Coffee Chat: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in National Security

I will be facilitating an hour-long coffee chat sponsored by the Clements Center for National Security. After a brief overview of the current happenings of AI/ML within national security, there will be a table-wide discussion of the possible implications and concerns in this area. The coffee chat will take place on Friday, November 17 from 2-3pm at the University of Texas Student Activity Center (Room SAC 3.112C). The following is a preview of some of the topics and questions that I hope to discuss, accompanied by readings focused in this area.

All students and faculty at UT are welcomed and encouraged to attend this event!

Core Ideas

  • Evaluating the trustworthiness of data
  • Integrating data in the intelligence collection process
  • Factoring in artificial intelligence in the military
  • Managing and responding to allies and adversaries with access to AI technologies
  • Forming policy around machine learning and artificial intelligence


  1. What are some ways in which big data and HUMINT are unique methods of intelligence gathering? What are ways in which they could overlap? How can AI/ML technology be a hindrance or catalyst for improved intelligence methods?
  2. Is the technological world aware of the national security needs and concerns of its innovations? Is the national security world fluent in technological systems and uses? How can these two entities be bridged?
  3. Will it be possible to maintain a competitive militaristic advantage as cyber warfare technologies (oftentimes more affordable than advanced weaponry) and skills spread? If so, why? If not, how should America prepare itself as adversaries become increasingly equipped? Are we in danger of losing an advantage in the intelligence collection space as these technologies spread and grow more affordable?
  4. What is the public perception of the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning? How does this hinder or encourage the development of these technologies? Does the public perception need to be altered in any way?


(Also, snacks will be provided.)

More information about the Clements Center for National Security can be found at their website,


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