Academic Updates

Regent Faculty Works With NATO Innovation Hub

NATO Innovation Hub

Since May of this year, Joe Saur, Principal Lecturer in Cybersecurity at Regent, has been working with the staff at the NATO Innovation Hub on matters related to both Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.


The purpose of the NATO Innovation Hub is to provide an unclassified venue in which technical issues can be discussed with civilian scientists, engineers and faculty. 

A three day workshop on Cybersecurity was conducted 23-25 May at the Hub, which is located adjacent to the campus of Old Dominion University (ODU).  In addition to Regent, faculty from Oxford University, ODU, and staff members from various NATO offices took part in the discussions. 

The intent was for members of the NATO staff to better understand the issues related to cyberattacks; such as the difficulty of identifying the perpetrator, or of estimating early on the potential impact of the attack.  Both of these issues are critical to deciding whether the attack rises to a level where an Article Five pleas for Allied assistance might be warranted.  As the workshop took place shortly after the WannaCry attack, this was covered extensively. 

On 21 June, Mr. Saur attended the afternoon session of the Scientific Conference on “Artificial Intelligence: Autonomy, Delegation, and Responsibility” sponsored by ENSC, Bordeaux, France.  Participation was via GoToMeeting hosted at the NATO Innovation Hub, and included three members of the ODU Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering (MSVE).

As part of the session, Mr. Saur presented information regarding the ongoing debate regarding the call for a ban on AI research intended to support lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).  Afterwards, there was a lively discussion regarding the called-for ban, its possible implications, the difficulties one might encounter attempting to enforce the ban, and the very real probability that the ban would be completely ineffective as the non-state actors most likely to use such devices indiscriminately would pay no attention whatsoever to such a ban. 

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