2nd Annual Autonomous Capabilities for DoD Summit

September 19- 20, 2018 | The Mary M. Gates Learning Center, Alexandria, VA

The 2018 Autonomous Capabilities for DoD Summit will provide a forum to discuss the advancements and applications of autonomy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to enhance current and emerging DoD capabilities and systems. The Summit will focus on the key efforts aimed at accelerating the exploitation of autonomy, both to realize the potential military value, and to remain ahead of adversaries who will also exploit its operational benefits.

Weather Notice: The Autonomous Capabilities for DoD Summit will occur as scheduled. Per the National Weather Service, effects from Hurricane Florence will be south of the Washington DC metro area. We will continue to monitor developments as they relate to Florence and update attendees if there is a need.

2018 Confirmed Speakers:

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General Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson, USAF, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force


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Lt Gen John Shanahan, USAF, Director for Defense Intelligence – Warfighter Support, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence


Mr. Chris Shank, Director, Strategic Capabilities Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering 
Robert A. Gold, SES, Director, Engineering Enterprise, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering, USD R&E

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Robert Sadowski, SES, Army Chief Roboticist, Chair RDECOM Robotics Community of Practice, Ground Vehicle Robots, TARDEC


Orin Hoffman, Autonomy and Robotics HQE, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx)



Download the complete Agenda for full list of speakers

Exhibit and Sponsorship Information

The Autonomous Capabilities for DoD Summit provides opportunities including exhibit space, round table discussions, product demonstrations, and networking receptions.

Download the Sponsorship and Exhibiting Prospectus Here


Participating Organizations at Past Iterations Include:

Lockheed Martine, Bell Helicopter TEXTRON, ARCIC, S&T Directorate DHS, Thales USA Inc., USTRANSCOM, JIDO, General Dynamics Land Systems, SRI International, Raytheon, GTRI, MIT, The Perduco Group, Boeing, Department of Justice, Northrop Grumman Aerospace, JHU APL, Harris, SPAWAR Systems Pacific, Lucidworks, WV Robotic Technology Center, Innovative C2 Solutions LLC, Leidos, Robotic Research LLC, DTRA, Booz Allen Hamilton, TRADOC, DARPA, DuPont Electronic Materials, DIA, NASA, Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, U.S. Army RDECOM, Kestrel Corp, TORC Robotics, Caterpillar Inc., SRI International, DTRA, CERDEC, BAE Systems, Warfighter’s Edge Advanced Development Lab, Dataminr, DZYNE Technologies, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Sandia National Laboratories, The MITRE Corporation, Microsoft, Boston Engineering, Modern Technology Solutions, Rockwell Collins, and many more!

Topics to be covered at the 2018 Summit:

-Accelerating the DoD’s Adoption of Autonomous Capabilities

-Addressing Design, Requirements, and Acquisition Challenges Specific to Autonomy

-Supporting Research and Advancements to Machine Learning / AI 

-Applying Levels of Machine Learning and Narrow AI to DoD Systems at Rest and In Motion Across Physical and Non-Physical Domain Systems and Platforms

-Developing Test, Evaluation, Validation, and Verification (TEVV) Techniques that Focus on Challenges Unique to Autonomy

-Human-Machine Teaming Challenges of Transitioning to Increasingly Autonomous Systems

-Improving Trustworthiness and Trust in Autonomous Systems

-Integrating Counter-Autonomy to Remain Ahead of Adversaries Leveraging Autonomy

At our Summit you will have the ability:

  • Gain Education & Insight:  Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the most complex issues facing the DoD and Government as it relates to autonomy, AI, and machine learning.
  • Build Partnerships: The agenda is designed to allow for ample networking opportunities and the ability to discover some of the latest technologies, policy considerations, and solutions of interest to the DoD and Government for autonomy, AI and machine learning.  
  • Influence:  Help foster ideas! Share your own insight and knowledge during our interactive sessions. Our town hall format is your opportunity to address our speakers with questions or comments on the current mission.

Operating Guidance for Government Attendees

  • DSI’s Summit directly supports the DoD and Government mission priorities by providing a conduit for each speaker to efficiently reach audiences outside of their respective offices that directly impact their department’s mission success, at no charge to the government, and in an efficient expenditure of time.
  • DSI’s Summit will provide a forum to address and improve internal and external initiatives, meet with and hear from partner organizations, disseminate vital capability requirements to industry, increase visibility within the larger community, and generally support their mission. The Summit is open and complimentary to all DoD and Federal employees and is considered an educational and training forum. 
    • (Industry and academia members are charged a fee for admission)
    • Open to U.S. and FVEY Nation’s Citizens ONLY

Why you should attend this year’s Summit:

Recent DoD findings and leadership across the Services have readily acknowledged the wide-spread applicability for autonomous capabilities across DoD systems and platforms. Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence, the current role for autonomous capabilities in DoD missions will continuously grow in importance as critical technology matures, and mission sets evolve to better leverage these capabilities. The efforts to accelerate the DoD’s adoption of autonomous capabilities are well underway, both to realize the potential Military value and capacity, and to remain ahead of adversaries who will also exploit its operational benefits.


Autonomy can provide substantial operational value across an increasingly diverse and constantly evolving set of DoD missions. However, the DoD must rapidly move to fully realize this value, which requires a proportionate amount of time structuring requirements, technology investment, and acquisition strategies to meet near and far-term mission needs.


The 2018 Autonomous Capabilities for DoD Summit will provide a forum to discuss the advancements and applications of autonomy, AI, and machine learning to enhance DoD capabilities, platforms, and systems. At this Summit, you will have the chance to examine the DoD’s major initiatives in the enabling of autonomous systems, strategic assessments of the challenges, gaps, and opportunities for current and future application, to include the identification of potential investments that advance and initiate critical capability development.

Advisory Board

DSI strives to provide the most up to date, mission relevant, topics and discussion points for our meetings.  In order to assure that we are providing the best subject content possible, our Advisory Board Members have volunteered to share their respective insight and expertise with us. We are truly grateful to have their support and guidance as we strive to continually create truly effective meetings and events for all.  Learn more about our Advisory Board Members.