Published: Feb. 12, 2020

Mark SirangeloTuesday, Feb. 25, 2020
5:15 PM | AERO 120
Post lecture reception with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments
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Mark Sirangelo, Scholar in Residence - Smead Aerospace
Member, Department of Defense - Defense Innovation Board
Former Executive Vice President of the Sierra Nevada Corporation

Abstract: The world of AI is already present in our daily lives and will be an increasing a part of our future.  This lecture will provide an opportunity to hear the results of a major research project, just completed in late 2019, which conducted a deep dive on one critical part of AI development, AI ethics.  

Over the past year the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Board (DIB) of which Mark Sirangelo, from the CU faculty, is a member, was tasked by the Secretary of Defense with proposing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics Principles for the DoD covering the design, development and deployment of AI for both combat and non-combat purposes. 

Building upon the foundation of the DoD’s existing ethical, legal and policy frameworks and trying to be responsive to the complexities of the rapidly developing field of AI, the DIB sought to develop principles consistent with the Department’s mission to deter war and ensure the country’s security. 

AI is affecting every corner of the DoD and transforming the character of Department as well as the world we live in.  Maintaining a competitive advantage in AI is therefore essential to our national security.

The report is the result of year of work collecting input from over 100 topical experts from universities, AI companies, government and research organizations. 

This lecture will summarize the DIB’s project and present a summary of its findings.  These include an outline of enduring DoD ethics principles that transcend AI, a set of proposed AI Ethics Principles and a set of future recommendations.  They were presented directly to the Defense Department senior leadership whose goal it is to facilitate the Defense Department’s adoption of these principles while advancing the wider aim of promoting AI safety, security and robustness. 

The DIB is an independent federal advisory committee that provides advice and recommendations to DoD senior leaders; it does not speak for the DoD. 

The purpose of the report is an earnest attempt to provide an opening for thought-provoking dialogue internally to the Defense Department and in our wider society. The final report, which is publically available, included detailed explanations and addresses the wide historical, policy and theoretical context for these recommendations.  These recommendations are just as applicable to many civilian, research, development and commercial applications.  We hope that you can join us on this journey exploring the future of AI.

Bio: Mark N. Sirangelo is currently the Entrepreneur Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado.  Mark serves on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Board providing future innovation advice to the office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously he completed an assignment as Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator. 

Mark has spent his career building and leading aeronautics, space and technology companies and most recently was the head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems, one of the country’s top space technology companies which, under his leadership, participated in over 300 space missions.

He has served as the Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Colorado and currently is the State of Colorado’s appointee to the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory. He is the founder and Chairman of eSpace, the Center for Space Entrepreneurship and a founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

Corporate and personal awards include NASA/Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame, Fast Company Top 10 Most Innovative Space Companies, the Defense Industry’s Fast Track 50, Deloitte’s Fast Track 500, a finalist in Ernst &Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Inc. Magazine’s top 200 companies.

Mark is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow, and holds Doctorate, MBA and Bachelor of Science degrees. He has also been scientifically published, served as an officer in the US Military and is a licensed pilot.