Dr. Thomas H. Killion
Future Forces Forum
NATO Science and Technology Organization
Autonomy and AI: Key Enablers for future NATO Capabilities
The digital revolution, including embedded computing, software-driven functionality, and ubiquitous communications, has fundamentally changed the character of our current and future military capabilities. Advancements in networking, algorithms, and deep learning offer the potential for autonomous systems that learn and behave at levels that are at least selectively comparable with human performance. The NATO S&T community, and particularly the S&T Organization, are exploring a wide spectrum of aspects and applications of these technologies. This includes addressing some key issues, such as the predominance of commercial investment in this area, the development of trust, and the need to sustain a workforce with the requisite knowledge and skills to exploit these opportunities for the benefit of the Nations and NATO.
As of 1 October 2016, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) appointed NATO Chief Scientist is Dr. Thomas Killion (USA). In this role, he has three major responsibilities. First, he serves as Chair of the NATO S&T Board (STB), where he acts as the STB's representative to the Secretary General and the NAC, provides oversight of the NATO S&T Organisation (STO), and is responsible for the effective coordination of NATO's S&T programmes. Second, he serves as the senior scientific advisor to NATO leadership, ensuring that appropriate and timely S&T based advice is provided to NATO senior decision makers. Finally, he leads the Office of the Chief Scientist at NATO Headquarters.
His previous executive assignments include: Director of Technology at the Office of Naval Research (2012-2016); Director of the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) (2010-2012); Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology [DAS(R&T)] / Army Chief Scientist (2004-2010); Director of Technology in the Office of the DAS(R&T) (2002-2004); and Director for Personnel Technologies in the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 (2002).