Episode 14: Adding a Dog to the Cockpit

Adding a Dog to the Cockpit

Guest: Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn

National security is a complex topic for Australia, situated at the edge of Southeast Asia, an increasingly contested trade and security space.  The Royal Australian Air Force has recently demonstrated leadership in the development of AI-augmented uncrewed aircraft.

Technological change is both a blessing and a curse in this environment.  Successful adoption of new technology can confer substantial advantages, but cost and complexity make success anything but certain.

Defense procurement processes struggle with rapidly evolving technologies.  These next-generation systems are so expensive and so critical that nations demand strong governance in acquiring them and keeping them current.

Artificial Intelligence promises great benefits for national security, but the challenge is how to adapt this new technology to sophisticated weapon systems.

In this episode of “Mind the Gap: Dialogs on Artificial Intelligence” we talk with an accomplished leader in the national security arena.  Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2008 as the Deputy Chief of the Air Force following a career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, test pilot, and strategic planner.  He served a further 11 years in the Reserve where he worked on the RAAF’s 5th Generation Air Force Strategy and subsequently the Joint Force Plan Aurora Integration Strategy.

John is today the Chair of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research - Australia where he has been leading the Institute’s National Resilience Project since 2019.

He also advises government agencies and companies on Defence and National Security, National Resilience and the implications of emerging technologies such as AI.

Recorded: 2022-09-02