Time Machine 2018: Elsa B. Kania, “The Mad Analyst”
If “data is the new oil,” then China is working to be the new Saudi Aramco. Meanwhile, Elsa B. Kania is working to be a leading authority on the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) advances in artificial intelligence, an issue she and many defense experts warn should not be ignored.
An Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, she has been officially named a “Mad Scientist” by the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Commission (TRADOC), but reminds us that while she “may be a bit mad,” technically she’s not a scientist. Instead, she’s an analyst focused on the People’s Liberation Army. Kania has the right idea for her research, as China’s military is widely recognized to be the world leader in exploring public-private partnerships to advance in unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies, all of which will revolutionize warfare like never before.
Kania hasn’t shied away from sharing her belief regarding the United States Army’s need for competitive research and development in the realm of artificial intelligence to remain a formidable world power. She has been a speaker at many thought-leadership conferences, invited to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and has been published somewhere around 100 times (Read her paper, “Battlefield Singularity: Artificial Intelligence, Military Revolution, and China’s Future Military Power”).
A continuing education in the Ivy Leagues doesn’t hurt her efforts. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government and a minor in Economics (with highest honors, of course), she has returned to Harvard to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science. All the while she has been working with CNAS, exploring her focus on Chinese military innovation in emerging technologies.
Between the imperative nature of the international race in AI warfare and Kania’s extensive expertise in the race’s current world leader, it only made sense to invite her to participate in a panel over artificial intelligence in defense.
As Time Machine 2018 approaches, we’re pleased to highlight some of the global executives, cultural innovators, and industry trailblazers who will be speaking at the conference.