Application Keynote Lecture

Dr Roberto Desimone (Corporate Technical Director, Distributed Systems, QinetiQ)

Exploitation of AI technologies for network-enabled defence programmes


With increasing threats globally, military forces need to be more flexible and agile in responding to these threats. As a consequence, there is growing interest in network-enabling all military forces, so that they can rapid reconfigure themselves into agile mission groups, often in coalitions with other nations. Both the UK and the US have major programmes underway. AI technologies are critical to delivering these network-enabled programmes. This presentation will outline those areas where AI technologies are best suited to provide support, especially in sharing information and decision rationale in support of semantic interoperability and collaborative decision-making.

Dr Roberto Desimone is currently corporate technical director for Distributed Systems at QinetiQ, responsible for the vision and strategy for maintaining its world-class presence in GRID-enabled informatics and agile networks and infrastructure. Previously at QinetiQ/DERA, he was responsible for managing innovation and product development for command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) applications, especially involving emerging AI technologies. Prior to joining the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (DERA), he spent 5 years at the Stanford Research Institute, in California, where he transferred AI technology from military to civil sectors, including military operations management and oil spill response planning. He worked for 6 years at the University of Edinburgh, both within the Department of AI and the AI Applications Institute (AIAI), where he exploited planning, scheduling and machine learning technologies for civil applications. He also spent 1 year as a visiting Commonwealth scholar within the Computer Vision Laboratory at McGill University, Montreal, Canada; and 5 years with British Aerospace, Filton, Bristol, working in several departments, where he pursued terrain visualisation and target recognition research.

He is member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Applied Intelligence. He has PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh and BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bath. He is a chartered engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.