Artificial intelligence will impact nearly every aspect of NATO, from strategy to operations. As part of a suite of emerging and disruptive technologies, effective use of AI will underlie NATO’s future success and provide it with an information and decision advantage. This revolution demands the continued exploitation of supporting scientific and technological research, including informing ethical and policy considerations. This will ensure the challenges and opportunities presented by AI are understood and successfully applied across the Alliance. NATO Chief Scientist Dr. Bryan Wells and CSET Associate Director of Analysis Dr. Margarita Konaev held an illuminating discussion exploring collaborative AI research in the NATO Science & Technology Organization and its role in securing the future of the Alliance.
Recording and Discussion
Dr. Bryan Wells has served as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Chief Scientist since July 2019. In this role, he serves as Chair of the NATO Science and Technology Board, the STB’s representative to the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council, the senior scientific advisor to NATO leadership, and leader of the Office of the Chief Scientist at NATO Headquarters. Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientist, Dr. Wells was the UK Ministry of Defence’s Head of S&T Policy, Strategic Research and International Engagement. Dr. Wells joined the UK Ministry of Defence in 1988, serving as Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, and has held a range of other posts, including Deputy Director of NATO Policy, and Director of Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control. He also served on secondment to the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Department of Justice) as Head of Administrative Justice.
Dr. Wells was educated at St Catherine’s College, Oxford (1978-85) and Merton College Oxford (1985-1988). He graduated BA(Hons) in Chemistry in 1982 and was awarded a DPhil in 1985. He conducted three years post-Doctorate research at Oxford University as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College.
Dr. Margarita Konaev is Associate Director of Analysis and a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) interested in military applications of AI and Russian military innovation. She is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Center for a New American Security. Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Before joining CSET, she worked as a Senior Principal in the Marketing and Communications practice at Gartner.
Margarita’s research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia has been published by the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the French Institute of International Relations, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, Modern War Institute, Foreign Policy Research Institute and a range of other outlets. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Brandeis University.