So much of the marketing press related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days feels quite fluffy. Chatbots and smart virtual assistants are all the rage and represent the new Shiny Objects of the day. But what if AI is not all rainbows and butterflies? What if it's not as harmless as Mark Zuckerberg espouses but rather is more on the "Elon Musk predicting Skynet is a definite reality" side of the spectrum? Related, how is AI impacting our daily lives at work? On social media? In our lives as U.S. and global citizens?
For our final monthly event of 2017, we're excited to go outside the norm and bring in a true thought leader from Washington D.C. to stir the pot and perhaps freak us out a little (or a lot). Our speaker, Matt Chessen, Senior Technology Policy Advisor with the U.S. Department of State is a former marketer turned technology diplomat that specializes in artificial intelligence, computational propaganda, cognitive security, and machine-driven communications. Bring your questions to what we think will be one of our more thought provoking events of the year.
MATT CHESSEN, SENIOR TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVISOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Matt Chessen is a career U.S. diplomat, technologist and author who is currently serving as a Senior Technology Policy Adviser in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. From 2016-2017, Matt was the State Department Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the George Washington University, where he researched the international implications of artificial intelligence, computational propaganda, cognitive security, and machine-driven communications. From 2014-2016, Matt was the Coordinator for International Cyber Policy for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs where he led the regional implementation of the US International Strategy for Cyberspace.
Before joining the Foreign Service in 2004, Matt founded an ecommerce company, and worked at Razorfish, managing the strategy development, design and implementation of large corporate websites. Matt served overseas as an Economic officer in Liberia, a Consular and Pol-Mil officer in Iraq, and as a POLAD to ISAF-HQ in Afghanistan. He also worked in Washington D.C. at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and at the Office of eDiplomacy, where he led the implementation of an open-source, crowd-working platform for the US government called Open Opportunities.
Matt holds a J.D. from Georgetown University, and an M.B.A. and B.A. from the University of Arizona. He has earned eight honor awards for his service at the Department of State, including Superior Honor Awards for his work on the Afghan Peace Process and his efforts advancing US international cyber policy. Matt has written two novels, and a number of non-fiction articles and fictional short stories.