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[Editor’s Note:  In Part I of this series, Dr. Nick Marsella addressed the duty we have to examine our assumptions about emergent warfighting technologies / capabilities and their associated implications to identify potential second / third order and “evil” effects. Men's Winter Snow Boots Outdoor Warm Shoes Boys Warm Lining Boots Size 38-48Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot Mens Size 10 NWT In today’s post, he prescribes five actions we can embrace both individually and as organizations to avoid confirmation bias and falling into cognitive thinking traps when confronting the ramifications of emergent technologies — Enjoy!]

In part I of my blog post, I advised those advocating for the development and/or fielding of technology to be mindful of the second/third order and possible “evil” effects. I defined “evil” as an unexpected and profound negative implication(s) of the adoption/adaption of a technology and related policy. I also recommended heeding the admonition of Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, to take responsibility for our technological creations and have the courage to think things through their potential implications – both for the good and the bad.

But even if we as individuals are willing to challenge our assumptions and think broadly and imaginatively, we can still come up short.  Why?  The answer is due in part to the challenges of prediction and the fact we are human with both great cognitive abilities, but also weaknesses.

THE CHALLENGES

First, common sense and many theorists remind us that the future is unknowable.Durango Boots Mens 10 1/2 EE Leather NewBota Trabajo Trabajo S/C Edicion Limitada El General Piel Grasso Negro ID 34596The futurist Arthur C. Clark noted in 1962, “It is impossible to predict the future, and all attempts to do in any detail appear ludicrous within a very few years.” Within this fixed condition of unknowing, the U.S. Departments of Defense and the Army must make choices to determine:

– what capabilities we desire and its related technology;

– where to invest in research and development; and

– what to purchase and field.Skechers Men's Relaxed Fit Outland Thrill Seeker Trail Shoeadidas Originals Men's Campus Stitch and Turn - Choose SZ/color

Source: Penguin Random House

As Michael E. Raynor pointed out in his book, Black Medieval Renaissance Fair LARP Game of Thrones Mens Boots size 11 12 13 14, making choices and developing strategies, which include adopting new technology, where the future is unknowable and “deeply unpredictable” either produces monumental successes or monumental failures.Vintage Mountaineer Hiking Boots Mountaineering Men 9 BrownMen New Multicolor Original Swat Classic Military Desert Tan Zip Outdoors Boots For a company this can spell financial ruin, while for the Army, it can spell disaster and the loss of Soldiers’ lives and national treasure.  Yet, we must also choose a “way ahead” – often by considering “boundaries” – in a sense the left and right limits – of potential implications.

Second, our ability to predict when technology will become available is often in error nor can we accurately determine its implications. For example, in a New York Times editorial on December 8, 1903, it noted:  “A man carrying airplane will eventually be built, British Mens Military Retro Outdoor Waterproof Combat Work Boot Tactical 9-29Mens Safety Shoes Work Boots - Safetoe M-8356 w' Cow Leather Upper & Steel Toebut only if mathematicians and engineers work steadily for the next ten million years.”5  The Wright Brothers first flight took place the following week, but it took decades for commercial and military aviation to evolve.

The stillborn Future Combat Systems (FCS) was the U.S. Army’s principal modernization program during the first decade of the Twenty-First century / Source: 
PM FCS, U.S. Army

Each of the services has faced force modernization challenges due to the adoption of technologies that weren’t mature enough; whose capabilities were over-promised; or did not support operations in the envisioned Operational Environment.  For the U.S. Army, Future Combat Systems (FCS) was the most obvious and recent example of this challenge – costing billions of dollars and, just as importantly, lost time and confidence.Men's High Top Chelsea Ankle Boots Suede Leather Vintage Mid Heels Shoes SizeMens Pull On Leather Ankle Boots Warm Winter Casual Waterproof Snow Shoes New

Third, in terms of future technology, predictions vary widely. For example, predictions by MIT’s Rodney Brooks and futurist/inventor Ray Kurzweil vary widely to the question – “What year do you think human-level Artificial Intelligence [AI, i.e., a true thinking machine] might be achieved with a 50% probability?” Kurzweil predicts AI (as defined) will be available in 2029, while Brooks is a bit more conservative – the year 2200 – a difference of over 170 years.Mens stylish Formal Ankle Boots British Winter High Top Fur Lining Shoes New Szmens winter warm Korean vogue casual dunk high Chelsea round toe boots shoes New

While one can understand the difficulty of predicting when “general AI” will be available, other technologies offer similar difficulties. The vision of the “self-driving” autonomous vehicle was first written about and experimented with in the 1920s, yet technological limitations, legal concerns, customer fears, and other barriers make implementing this capability challenging.

Gartner Hype Cycle / Source: Nicole Saraco Loddo, Gartner

Lastly, as Rodney Brooks has highlighted, Men Work Boot Safety Jogger Mars Leather Dark Brown Black 100% Original Brand NW maintains:

we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”Mens Buckle Mid Calf Boots Military Combat British High Tops Motorcycle Shoes

SECOND, THIRD ORDER AND EVIL EFFECTS

I contend that we either:Tony Lama Vintage Exotic Leather Boots - Western Burgundy Boots Men's Size 10 BBotinTrabajo S/C Agujetas Centenario Piel Nobuck Cafe ID 41120

intentionally focus on the positive effects of adopting a technology;

ignore the experts and those who identify the potential downside of technology; and

fail to think thorough the short, long, and potentially dangerous effects or dependencies – imaginatively.

We do this because we are human, and more often because we fall into the confirmation bias or other cognitive thinking traps that might affect our program or pet technology. As noted by RAND in Truth Decay:Mens Desert Army Patrol Boots Tactical Military Work Outdoor Hiking Jungle ShoesMen Safety Shoe Steel Toe Anti Puncture Breathable Casual Hiking Climb Work Boot

Source: Pixabay

Cognitive biases and the ways in which human beings process information and make decisions cause people to look for information, opinion, and analyses that confirm preexisting beliefs, to weigh experience more heavily than data and facts, and then to rely on mental shortcuts and the beliefs of those in the same social networks when forming opinions and making decisions.”9

Yet, the warning signs or signals for many unanticipated effects can be found simply by conducting a literature review of government, think tank, academic, and popular reports (to perhaps include science fiction). This may deter some, given the sheer volume of literature is often overwhelming, but contained within these reports are many of the challenges associated with future technology, such as:  the potential for deep fakes, loss of privacy, hacking,Roamers Mens Ghillie Tie Real Suede Desert Boots (DF225)Adidas Blauvelt Boot Size 11.5 Water Resist Nylon Black accidents, deception, and loss of industries/jobs.

At the national level, both the current and previous administrations published reports on AI, as has the Department of Defense – some more balanced in addressing of issues of fairness, safety, governance, and ethics.10

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For example, using photo recognition to help law enforcement and others seems like a great idea, yet its use is increasingly being questioned. This past May, San Francisco became the first city to ban its use, and others may follow suit.11  While some question this decision to ban vice impose a moratorium until the technology produces less errors, the question remains – did the developers and policy makers consider if there would be push back to its introduction given its current performance?Chic Men's Formal Chunky Oxford Pointed toe Faux Leather Side Zip Ankle BootsGenuine British Army S10 Goretex Assault Black Leather Combat / Boots - Used What sources did they consult?

Another challenge is language. You’ve seen the commercials – “there is much we can do with AI” – in farming, business, and even beer making.  While “AI” is a clever tag line, it may invoke unnecessary fear and misunderstanding.  For example, I believe for most people equate “robotics” and “AI” with the “Terminator” franchise, raising the fear of uncontrolled autonomous military force overwhelming humanity.  Even worse – under the moniker of “AI,” we will buy into “snake-oil” propositions.

We are at least decades away from “general AI” where a “system exhibits apparently intelligence behavior at least as advanced as a person” across the “full range of cognitive tasks,” but we continue to flaunt the use of “AI” without elaboration.MEN'S RODEO COWBOY BOOTS GENUINE LEATHER WESTERN SQUARE TOE BOTAS TMen's New Gore-Tex Army Combat Boots size 5R Temperate Weather Flight/Combat

SOME ACTIONS TO TAKE

Embrace a learning organization. Popularized by Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990), a learning organization is a place “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.”Mens Faux Leather Vogue Black Knee High Boots Side Zip Military Riding Shoes Hot While some question whether we can truly make a learning organization, Senge’s thinking may help solve our problem of identifying 2nd/3rd order and evil effects.

First, we must embrace new and expansive patterns of thinking.  Force developers use the acronym – “DOTMPLF-P” as shorthand for Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Personnel, Leadership, Facilities, and Policy implications – yet other factors might be as important.

A convoy of leader-follower Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicles at Fort Bliss, TX / Source: U.S. Army photo by Jerome AliottaBrown Steampunk Serenity Calvary Cosplay Halloween Costume Boots Mens 9 10 11 12ROCKY P112056 Cowboy Western 11" Round Toe Waterproof No Slip Boots Mens US 8.5W

For example, trust in automated or robotics systems must be instilled and measured.  In one poll, 73% of respondents noted they would be afraid of riding in a fully autonomous vehicle – up 10% points from the previous year.14  What if we develop a military autonomous vehicle or a leader-follower system and one or more of our host nation allies prohibits its use? What happens if an accident occurs and the host population protests, Wolverine Mens Work & Safety Boots Size 9.5 (15119)Helly Hansen Gerton Men's Boots (Size 10) Dark Camel / Walnutarguing that the Americans don’t care for their safety?

Technologists and concept developers must move from being stove-piped in labs and single-focused to consider the broader view of technological implications across functions.

Embrace Humility. Given that we cannot predict the future and its potential consequences, developers must seek out diversified opinions, and more importantly, recognize divergent opinions.

U.S. B-17 bombers on mission to destroy Germany’s war production industries, Summer of 1944 / Source: U.S. Air Force photo

Embrace the Data.  In New York City during World War II, a small organization of some of the most brilliant minds in America worked in the office of the “Applied Mathematics Panel.”  In Europe, the 8th U.S. Air Force suffered from devastating bomber losses.  Men Fur Lined Warm Winter Ankle Boots Flats Hip Hop Street Dance High Tops ShoesBed Stu Mens Draco Chukka Boot - Toast Zone US 9Leaders wondered where best to reinforce the bombers with additional armor without significantly increasing their weight to improve survivability. Reports indicated returning bombers suffered gunfire hits over the wings and fuselage, but not in the tail or cockpits, so to the casual observer it made sense to reinforce the wings and fuselage where the damage was clearly visible.

Abraham Wald, a mathematician, worked on the problem. He noted that reinforcing the spots where damage was evident in returning aircraft wasn’t necessarily the best course of action, given that hits to the cockpit and tail were probably causing aircraft (and aircrew) losses during the mission.  In a series of memorandums, he developed a “method of estimating plane vulnerability based on damage of survivors.” As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes noted more than 100 years ago,  “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”Men 13 W Wide Belleville ICWT Gore-tex Infantry Combat Boots Desert Tan MilitaryNew Mens Vintage Knee High Boots Riding Knight Shoes Military Motorcycle Combat

Additionally, we need to reinforce our practice of performing quality literature reviews to aid in our identification of these issues.

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Employ Skepticism and a Devil’s Advocate Approach.  In 1587, the Roman Catholic Church created the position of Promoter of the Faith – commonly referred to as the Devil’s Advocate. To insure a candidate for sainthood met the qualification of being canonized, the role of the Devil’s Advocate was to be the skeptic (loyal to the institution), looking for reasons why not to canonize the individual.  Similarly, Leaders must embrace the concept of employing a devil’s advocate approach to identifying 2nd/3rd order and evil effects of technology – if not designating a devil’s advocate with the right expertise to identify assumptions, risks, and effects. But creating any devil’s advocate or “risk identification” positions is only useful if their input is seriously considered.

Embrace the Suck.  Lastly, if we are serious in identifying the 2nd/3rd order and evil effects, J. Chisholm Men's Vintage Brown Leather Western Cowboy Boots Size 9 DVintage Dan Post Mens Cowboy Boots Two Tone Brown Distressed Thrashed Leather 9to include identifying new dependencies, ethical issues, or other issues which challenge the adaption or development of a new technology or policy – then we must be honest, resilient, and tough. There will be setbacks, delays, and frustration.

FINAL THOUGHT

Technology holds the power to improve and change our personal and professional lives.  For the military, technology changes the ways wars are fought (i.e., the character of war), but it may also change the nature of war by potentially reducing the “human dimension” in war.  If robotics, AI, and other technological developments eliminate “danger, physical exertion, intelligence and friction,”17 is war easier to wage?  Will technology increase its potential frequency?  Will technology create a further separation between the military and the population by decreasing the number of personnel needed? These may be some of the 2nd/3rd order and “evil” effects we need to consider.

If you enjoyed this post, please see Dr. Marsella’s previous post “Second/Third Order, and Evil Effects” – The Dark Side of Technology (Lugz Mens Drifter LO LX Thermabuck Oxfords Golden Wheat/ Cream/ Gum Size 9 8 D)

… as well as the following posts:Black Medieval Knight Renaissance Faire Game of Thrones Mens Boots size 8 9 10Clarks Originals Desert Boot Men's Casual Leather Boots Navy Blue NIB US 13 EU47

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[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish today’s post by guest blogger LTCOL Greg Colton, Australian Army, addressing the intellectual component of military power.  In our current drive to modernize the U.S. Army into a Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)-Capable Force by 2028 and set the conditions for fielding an MDO-Ready Force in 2035, we must not forget the lessons learned from our last major transformation in the 1980s. Men Biker Motorcycle Boots Waterproof Road Moto Racing Biker Leather Shoes US12WORX BY RED WING WOMENS LEATHER / STEEL TOE SAFETY WORK BOOTS SZ 11.5 M NEW!!! The tactical and operational excellence that enabled us to completely rout Iraqi ground forces in 100 hours was not only the result of effective doctrine and the acquisition of the “Big 5” weapon systems, but also due to the development of our Combat Training Centers (CTCs) and Leader Development platforms like the Non-Commissioned Officer Education System and the School of Advanced Military Studies. Read on to learn how one of our key allies is approaching their Army’s Professional Military Education.]

LTGEN Rick Burr, Australian Chief of Army

We must push ourselves to think in creative and unconstrained ways to ensure our warfighting philosophy is appropriate and informs our future capabilities” — LTGEN Rick Burr, Australian Chief of Army, in Accelerated Warfare

In an increasingly volatile world, militaries need to be prepared to conduct a broad range of contemporary operations while also continuously anticipating the requirements of future conflicts. As the Australian Chief of Army Carolina Mens Steel Toe Logger Boots Size 7, “Preparedness is dynamic. It requires us to be ready now, while concurrently becoming future ready.” Key to this is the development of the Thermal Breathable Men's Leather Safety Shoes Insulation 6KV Ankle Work Boots, both of individuals and of the Army as an organisation, so that the Army is able to adapt to changes in circumstances quickly enough to win future conflicts.

Yet, as the NEW US Army McRae Boots (OCP) 10R points out, “military institutions recognize the need for leaders who can adapt, but struggle with exactly how to teach or train them to do so.” Within the Australian Army, Professional Military Education (PME) is an important component of a wider approach that blends training, education, and experience to develop a workforce able to cope with the demands of war in an ever-changing environment.

The Army’s approach to PME

The Australian Army’s approach to PME is laid out in its PME Strategy, executed on behalf of the Chief of Army by the Directorate of Professional Military Education, which itself falls under command of the Director-General Training and Doctrine (DG TRADOC). The Directorate uses two broad approaches to enhance the intellectual component of fighting power. First, using the principle of connectivism it seeks to connect those who can impart specialist knowledge to the workforce. Secondly, it seeks to develop organisational adaptability through promoting a contest of ideas. It delivers these approaches through a number of different mechanisms which allows content to be tailored to the target audience. These mechanisms include its online portal, NEW NWOB HERMAN SURVIVORS Men's 9" Waterproof Combo Hunting Boots SZ8, unit PME packages, webinars, and conferences.

Connectivism

Trialing a UGV during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 with the U.S. / Source: Australian Defence Image Library; CPL Tristan Kennedy, Photographer

The Australian Army’s approach to connectivism is based on connecting our soldiers with acknowledged subject matter experts or those who have specific expertise in their field. A good example of the former is TX Hammes who gave a CoveTalk on the development of artificial intelligence in unmanned platforms, while an example of the latter is this article by a military workshop manager on improving the efficiency of his workshop’s layout and processes. Regardless of the source, connectivism enables the Army to link both experts and expertise with the wider workforce to develop the intellectual component of fighting power within our individual soldiers and officers. In doing so, it promotes the dissemination of best practice across the force.

Australian Army soldiers during Exercise Night Naip 2014 with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force / Source: Australian Defence Image Library; Leading Seaman Justin Brown, Photographer

However, this approach only provides half of the solution. For argument’s sake, let’s take as a given that warfare is an ever-evolving phenomenon. As such,ROSSI FOCUS BLACK SLIP ON CLOG SHOES 941 BRAND NEW BOXED SIZE 11 1/2Ecco Yak Gore-Tex hiking Boots Size 41 best practice in and of itself cannot be enough, as the very term indicates the pre-determination of an optimal solution derived within a static set of variables. The uniqueness of each theatre, campaign, battlefield, or individual soldier’s field of fire will mean that the variables on which best practice has been developed will never exactly replicate. Consequently, tactical solutions to complex problems will rarely (if ever) be found using a cookie cutter JUSTIN CHILE IGUANA Western Cowboy Work BOOTS Dark Brown Leather Size 11 D (b37)Ariat Mens 35501 Heritage Roper Western Cowboy Black Leather Pull On Boots Sz 10template. Instead, we need an Army that is institutionally flexible enough to recognise and incorporate emerging practice to solve unique problem sets. In other words, if best practice provides the theoretical foundations required to understand the tactical problem, emerging practice provides the intellectual adaptability to actually solve it.

A contest of ideas

This leads us to the second approach we use to enhance the intellectual component of fighting power: Men's 8" Converse Black Leather Uniform Security Work Boot Size 11MBELLEVILLE MCB 950 Waterproof Gore tex Mountain Combat Boots Mens Size 10R promoting a contest of ideas.  Fostering a culture of contesting ideas has two benefits. Firstly, it gives our people the confidence to analyse the unique problem set they are faced with and recommend bespoke solutions to a hierarchy that is often one or two steps removed from the ground truth. Secondly, and just as importantly, it inculcates an organisational culture within the Army that is willing to recognise, and accept, emerging practice (i.e., the recommendations from those trying to solve the current problem) rather than always insisting on best practice (i.e., what we have always done in similar circumstances). This is essential if we are to win future wars.Stacy Adams Wyler Plain Toe Chukka Boots - Men's Size 10.5 M - BlackChaco Mens Montrose Chukka Boots Size 9 D Nickel Gray J150213 Retail $150

Australian Army Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) with 30mm automatic cannon / Source:  Multiple Australian media sites

A good example of how the Australian Army promotes a contest of ideas is The Cove’s recent Men's Avenger Waterproof Hiker Steel Toe Work Boots A7225 Men's 9.5, in which readers were invited to submit a ‘script’ of no more than 100 words on what they thought the Army of 2030 should look like. Run over the period of a calendar month, it generated 48 entries from a broad range of authors,Justin Medium Gray Leather Roper Boots Men's Sz 8 E Wide Western Cowboy 3025Mens Vintage Zip Western Cowboy Leather Brogue Knight Motor Shoes Ankle Boots from front-line practitioners to life-long academics. Collectively, these scripts were viewed over 93,000 times in 31 days and were the genesis for numerous comments on our website, within units and messes across the country, and on social media. At the end of the competition,Salomon Men's Hiking Boots Size 6.5 Gore-Tex 853464Magnum Original Size Zip Mens Black Hi Ankle Non-Safety Military Combat Boots the entries and online discussion were captured and passed on to the Australian Army’s Directorate of Future Land Warfare to inform its work.

This ‘crowd sourcing’ of ideas doesn’t just support the work of those tasked with thinking about the future structures and capabilities of the Army. It also encourages the Army’s people to think about the future of warfare, encourages debate on how the organisation can best meet the challenges of the future, and gives our people the confidence to contribute to that debate.

A complementary approach

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Most readers will already have realised that when these two aspects are combined, they form a complementary approach to PME: collectivism harnesses the experience of experts for the development of the workforce, while a contest of ideas harnesses the experience of the workforce for the development of the organisation. If the Army is to be truly adaptive, one cannot exist without the other. An organisation which always insists on best practice, rather than emerging practice,Bates USMC Size 4R Military GORE-TEX Temperate Weather Combat Boots 4R BrandNEW is risking ruin through imposing dogmatic solutions to complex problems, while an army that automatically reacts to instantaneous suggestions from the workforce, ungrounded in theoretical understanding, risks repeating the mistakes of the past.

Thus, contributions need to be sought from a broad range of viewpoints if the Army is to be ready for future conflict. As Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank is at Cole Haan Grand OS NEW 7.5 Chukka Ankle Boot Black Oiled Leather C13250:  “Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.” This is particularly important to remember within hierarchical organisations such as the military.Texas Brand Texas Boot Co. Cowboy Boots Indians Square Toe vintage size 10 D3839 Winter boot brown, 800 grams Insulation, UltraDry water proof size 12.0 D It can be all too easy for generals, staff officers, or senior public servants to fall into the trap of believing that experience alone is the foundation of hard-earned knowledge, and that new ideas from juniors that challenge doctrine, the status quo, or the strategic narrative are unnecessarily subversive.

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Yet, when the next war comes it will not be the desk officers or policy experts that do the fighting, or the dying, in foreign fields. It is the young military practitioner who, regardless of rank, will find themselves trying to solve a unique problem set in the most testing of circumstances. In the words of Nassim Taleb, it is they who have ‘Men's Brown Tony Lama Smooth Quill Ostrich Skin Cowboy Boots 9M - Excellent Cond.’ As such, we owe that young soldier or officer not only the very best foundational professional military education we can give them, but also an organisation willing and able to adapt to bespoke solutions based on ground truth. As an Army, we must set the conditions such that our people challenging the status quo and contesting ideas is our organisation’s comfort zone.

This requires a complementary approach to PME, developed and delivered now, so that we may enhance the intellectual component of fighting power in time for the Army to fight, and win, the next war. It is an approach that the team at The Cove is dedicated to delivering for the Australian Army.

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