TRADOC G-2 E-Intern Initiative Reports

August 2021 No Comments

Author(s): Lewis, H. H. (College of William & Mary), Kabbara, A-R. (College of William & Mary), & Matthews, H. (College of William & Mary)

TRADOC G-2 E-Intern Initiative

In 2016, TRADOC G-2 launched a virtual/telework intern program for college students to work side-by-side (in a virtual environment) with Army leaders to gain practical, real-world experience within TRADOC. This effort is known as the E-Intern initiative. The virtual space allows students to remain at their universities while they complete their internship. The E-Intern Initiative provides meaningful work to college students, opportunities to contribute to hard problems and an opportunity to serve the Nation. The E-Intern Initiative demonstrates possible approaches to help the Army rethink its approach to maintaining a high quality, diverse, talented and professional workforce.

In 2021, the SMA leadership team collaborated with TRADOC G2 on a pilot that explores the added value of TRADOC E-Interns from the College of William & Mary. The intent is to create a network of emerging leaders who contribute high-quality unique perspectives, such as those that inform and shape Joint Force capabilities in the information domain.

Summary Report Previews

The Future of Genomic Surveillance by Henry H. Lewis

While maneuvering in the information environment (IE), it is important to consider the actions of National Defense Strategy and National Military Strategy adversaries, such as China, and understand how their present actions indicate their intentions for future operations. If we can understand the intentions of our adversaries and forecast their intentions over time within the IE, we are better positioned to shape Joint Force (JF) strategy and inform planning approaches in effective ways to achieve a position of relative advantage. Emerging signals within the IE point towards an advanced new tool: genomic surveillance, which threatens our competitive edge across the globe. China is building vast databases of genetic material that will, absent American action, give them a comparative advantage over American forces in future cyberconflicts and in the continuing struggle to assert global leadership. The United States must act now to implement adequate defenses to ensure the protection of our genomic assets and to challenge the rising threat of Chinese dominance in this new arena of the IE.

Download here: The Future of Genomic Surveillance

Bots & Deepfakes by Abdul-Rahman Kabbara

This paper explores the impact of two applications that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on information operations, bots, and deepfakes. Artificially created bots are automated accounts, while deepfakes are cases of manipulated visual and auditory content; both are powered by AI algorithms. Due to increasingly integrated and capable technology, the reach of AI applications is broadening. Bots and deepfakes are preferred tools of non-state and state actors due to their accessibility, wide reach, difficulty of detection, and difficulty of attribution (potential for blackmail). Digitally manipulated content, which is propagated from the likes of bots and deepfakes, are highly effective at generating false perceptions and diminishing trust in existing figures and institutions. These technologies have public facing consequences, and an examination of the ramifications of these applications will be explored. Possible solutions will be suggested to coordinate methods of restraint on these developing platforms and technologies whose influences and potential are just now beginning to be realized and thought out.

Download here: Bots & Deepfakes

Social Media as Information Warfare by Hannah Matthews

The flow of disinformation through social media, combined with the illusory truth effect, establish social media as an emerging threat in information warfare (IW). The illusory truth effect is the idea that repeatedly seeing information makes it more likely to be seen as true. Artificial intelligence (AI) can create articles containing false information that will then be distributed to the public. These articles are entirely computer generated and require little to no human input. Quantum computing can get into most computer encryptions, with the ability to place false information into trusted online formats. With social media being the main way that people receive their news, this intrusion of false information will cause the degradation of trust in news sources, leading to a similar decrease of trust in democracy. Social media combined with AI and quantum computing may allow for disinformation to be easily distributed and immediately read. Depending on the frequency of this dissemination based on the illusory truth effect it may also be believed to be true. Artificial intelligence is currently developing further as is quantum computing. Within the next ten years, the growth of technological capabilities will further bring social media into information warfare, in new and dangerous ways. In order to be successful, it is necessary for the United States to examine social media and its role in information warfare and adopt it into US tactics. This paper will demonstrate that disinformation combined with the illusory truth effect will establish social media as a powerful tool in IW.

Download here: Social Media as Information Warfare


Submit A Comment