The Aspen Strategy Group gathered for its annual Summer Workshop from August 3-7 to examine the limitless impact of emerging technologies. The workshop entitled, “Technology and National Security: Maintaining America’s Edge” opened with the annual Ernest R. May Memorial Lecture, delivered by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter entitled, “Technology and Public Purpose: Reflections on the Dilemmas of Tech and Possible Solutions.” Secretary Carter’s lecture set the stage for three days of incisive discussions focused on technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing. The group examined the influence these technologies will continue to have on the future of work, the U.S. military, the nature of future conflicts, and democratic institutions. Discussions also focused on America’s ongoing competition with China, particularly around A.I and cyber-security, and the fundamental need for a strong innovation triangle to exist and thrive between the US government, academia and public industries to successfully ensure America’s technological edge in these changing times.
On August 3, the ASG co-hosted a public event, entitled, “America and the World: A Conversation with Former National Security Advisors.” ASG Director Nicholas Burns moderated the discussion with Condoleezza Rice, Steve Hadley, Susan Rice, and Tom Donilon. The panelists discussed the ongoing national security threats China and Russia pose to U.S. interests and the current state of political discourse in the U.S., and analyzed the Trump administration’s recent foreign policy decisions.
Shortly after the conclusion of the workshop, ASG member David Ignatius published a piece in The Washington Post, which touched on some of the key themes discussed at the meeting.