Dr. Margarita Konaev is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) interested in military applications of AI and Russian military innovation. 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.

National security leaders view AI as a priority technology for defending the United States. This two-part analysis is intended to help policymakers better understand the scope and implications of U.S. military investment in autonomy and AI. It focuses on the range of autonomous and AI-enabled technologies the Pentagon is developing, the military capabilities these applications promise to deliver, and the impact that such advances could have on key strategic issues.

This brief examines how the Pentagon’s investments in autonomy and AI may affect its military capabilities and strategic interests. It proposes that DOD invest in improving its understanding of trust in human-machine teams and leverage existing AI technologies to enhance military readiness and endurance. In the long term, investments in reliable, trustworthy, and resilient AI systems are critical for ensuring sustained military, technological, and strategic advantages.

The Pentagon has a wide range of research and development programs using autonomy and AI in unmanned vehicles and systems, information processing, decision support, targeting functions, and other areas. This policy brief delves into the details of DOD’s science and technology program to assess trends in funding, key areas of focus, and gaps in investment that could stymie the development and fielding of AI systems in operational settings.

Today’s research and development investments will set the course for artificial intelligence in national security in the coming years. This Executive Summary presents key findings and recommendations from CSET’s two-part analysis of U.S. military investments in autonomy and AI, including our assessment of DOD’s research priorities, trends and gaps, as well as ways to ensure U.S. military leadership in AI in the short and the long term.

Over the last decade, Moscow has boosted funding of universities and implemented reforms in order to make Russia a global leader in AI. As part of that effort, Russian researchers have expanded their English-language publication output, a key—if imperfect—measure of the country’s innovation and impact. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of English-language publications by Russian scientists in AI-related fields increased six-fold.

Margarita Konaev weighs in on the future military environment on "The Convergence" podcast, drawing from her experience in emerging technologies, military applications of artificial intelligence, and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia.

On October 10th, 2019, Russia released its national artificial intelligence strategy. Margarita Konaev analyzed the strategy in the context of Moscow's larger strategic vision.

Rita Konaev, Research Fellow at CSET, writes, “AI’s potential to improve wartime decision-making through real-time actionable intelligence can help reduce the risk of casualties, fratricide, and collateral damage in urban warfare.”

Rita Konaev, Research Fellow at CSET writes with Samuel Bendett that “when it comes to military applications of artificial intelligence, overlooking Russia is a mistake.” In this article, they analyze Russia’s current and potential future technological advances in autonomous systems and information warfare.