Harnessing Artificial Intelligence

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence is a top defense priority--not only for the US Department of Defense but also for adversaries in the great powers competition.  Although AI is almost as old as computer science, it has accelerated to the forefront of computing technology in the last decade, propelled by continued advances in computing power, large data sets to train learning machines, and the supreme attraction of automating and accelerating some human cognitive tasks.

With this course you will understand the principles and limitations of AI systems and the benefits and risks of using them in military operations.  We will demystify AI and cut through the extensive hype.

The course is one credit hour equivalent, pass-fail, in lecture-seminar format.  It is open to all students for credit, and everyone for audit.  Registered students will receive a notation on their transcript.  Each session will include 5-minute introduction, 30-minute lecture, and 15-minutes Q&A.

Peter J. Denning
Moderator and EmCee
Distinguished Professor of Computer Science

To see the lecture schedule, click here.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the nature and history of AI systems.

  • To understand the kinds of AI systems that exist, their military applications, their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their strategic value, and their risks.

  • To understand the bedrock principles of implementing AI in the military and apply them to AI projects.

  • To think critically about AI, distinguishing hype from reality.


Each session will be a 5-minute introduction, 30-minute lecture, and 15-minute Q&A covering varied aspects of Artificial Intelligence, including:

  • What is AI?
  • Classifying AI by Type of Learning
  • Critical Domains
  • Moving Forward/AI Futures

Course: CS4000/Harnessing Artificial Intelligence
Credits: 0-2
Grading: Pass/Fail

For information on the course purpose and objectives, contact Dr Peter Denning. For information on registration or materials, contact Christine Beck.

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