87 episodes

DARPA’s podcast series, "Voices from DARPA," offers a revealing and informative window on the minds of the Agency's program managers. In each episode, a program manager from one of DARPA’s six technical offices—Biological Technologies, Defense Sciences, Information Innovation, Microsystems Technology, Strategic Technology, and Tactical Technology—will discuss in informal and personal terms why they are at DARPA and what they are up to. The goal of "Voices from DARPA" is to share with listeners some of the institutional know-how, vision, process, and history that together make the “secret sauce” DARPA has been adding to the Nation’s innovation ecosystem for nearly 60 years. On another level, we at DARPA just wanted to share the pleasure we all have every day—in the elevator, in the halls, in our meeting rooms—as we learn from each other and swap ideas and strive to change what’s possible.

Voices from DARPA DARPA

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 101 Ratings

DARPA’s podcast series, "Voices from DARPA," offers a revealing and informative window on the minds of the Agency's program managers. In each episode, a program manager from one of DARPA’s six technical offices—Biological Technologies, Defense Sciences, Information Innovation, Microsystems Technology, Strategic Technology, and Tactical Technology—will discuss in informal and personal terms why they are at DARPA and what they are up to. The goal of "Voices from DARPA" is to share with listeners some of the institutional know-how, vision, process, and history that together make the “secret sauce” DARPA has been adding to the Nation’s innovation ecosystem for nearly 60 years. On another level, we at DARPA just wanted to share the pleasure we all have every day—in the elevator, in the halls, in our meeting rooms—as we learn from each other and swap ideas and strive to change what’s possible.

    Episode 79: Integrating ELSI

    Episode 79: Integrating ELSI

    In this episode, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into ELSI – ethical, legal, and societal implications of new technologies and capabilities – and specific examples of how DARPA programs have incorporated those consid...

    • 28 min
    Episode 78: Introducing ELSI

    Episode 78: Introducing ELSI

    As a global leader in innovation, DARPA starts an average of 50 new programs each year. These programs span a variety of technical disciplines to develop breakthrough technologies for national security, all of which have the potential to raise ethical, legal, and societal implication – or, ELSI – considerations.Taking time to consider ELSI’s role in a program can contribute to the responsible development of emerging technologies by guiding innovation, maximizing the potential application space, and facilitating dialogue with future end-users, and the public, to ensure diverse perspectives and implications are considered. It can improve research by fostering conversations that identify unknowns, anticipate consequences, and make design decisions to maximize benefits and opportunities and minimize risks and harms.In this episode of Voices from DARPA (https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/podcast), we’ll hear from DARPA Director, Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, to explain the agency's perspective on those implications, as well as Dr. Bart Russell, deputy director of the Defense Sciences Office, on what it would mean to incorporate ELSI across the agency more formally. Finally, Dr. Rebecca Crootof, DARPA’s inaugural ELSI Visiting Scholar, will discuss her journey to the agency and her approach to developing a process to ensure that ELSI can inform — and even improve —DARPA programs.That sounds like a lot of responsibility, influence, and potential impact – for some, maybe, too good to be true?Ethical, Legal, and Societal Implications of Emerging Technologies at DARPA (https://www.darpa.mil/our-research/ethical-legal-societal-implications-of-research) DARPA currently is seeking applicants for the 2025 ELSI Visiting Scholar (https://www.darpa.mil/attachments/2025_DARPA%20Visiting%20Scholar%20for%20ELSI_formatted.pdf). The deadline to apply is June 3, 2024.Origin of the term ELSI: Three decades of ethical, legal, and social implications research: Looking back to chart a path forward (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9352173/)The piece references a class from Dr. Oona A. Hathaway (https://law.yale.edu/oona-hathaway)

    • 24 min
    Episode 77: Meet DARPAConnect

    Episode 77: Meet DARPAConnect

    Good ideas can come from anywhere, but what is the best way to find them, or help them find you?  In 2022, DARPA hit the road in pursuit of the answer. Comprising six regional events, DARPA Forward (https://forward.darpa.mil/) took the agency across the country to engage untapped talent and strengthen the nationwide innovation ecosystem. The event series offered a powerful lesson in breaking down barriers of entry in pursuit of national security breakthroughs.  To sustain this momentum, DARPA launched DARPAConnect, an initiative that aims to further broaden the agency’s reach and foster greater collaboration with underrepresented, diverse, and nontraditional institutions new to the national security space.  In this episode of Voices from DARPA (https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/podcast), we’re taking a deep dive on DARPAConnect, talking with several of those involved in the initiative to get a sense of how it all works. We’ll explore its goals, its offerings, and what success looks like at DARPA, home to some of the biggest – and riskiest – bets on U.S. technological innovation.  DARPAConnect website: https://www.darpaconnect.us/home (https://www.darpaconnect.us/home)  

    • 18 min
    Episode 76: The Quantum Logician

    Episode 76: The Quantum Logician

    In this episode we hear from quantum physicist Dr. Mukund Vengalattore (https://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-mukund-vengalattore), a program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/offices/DSO), who oversees a portfolio of fundamental research programs aimed at unlocking new quantum insights and overcoming challenges to enable revolutionary capabilities for defense. These include harnessing atoms and superconducting structures for novel sensing applications (imagine tiny, super-sensitive antennas, infrared detectors or gyroscopes that vastly outperform much larger antennas, IR cameras, and gyroscopes of today); developing better quantum bits (qubits) for quantum computing (including using photons to encode information in novel ways); enabling field-deployable, tactical-grade mobile atomic clocks for our troops; and discovering new quantum materials for applications ranging from quantum computing to biomedical imaging. We’re also joined by Dr. Mikhail Lukin, professor of physics at Harvard University, who led a team on Vengalattore’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) (https://www.darpa.mil/program/optimization-with-noisy-intermediate-scale-quantum-devices) program that made a major quantum breakthrough published in Nature (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06927-3) recently. Lukin’s team exploited characteristics of Rydberg neutral atoms tocreate logical qubits and used them to demonstrate the first-ever quantum circuit, a key step to advancing novel quantum computing architectures (Vengalattore provides a primer on the Rydberg atomic state). You’ll also hear about “optical tweezers” – which use laser beams that can be controlled to precisely grab and move around individual qubits without destroying their quantumness — and how they helped enable the breakthrough. To read more about the ONISQ logical qubit breakthrough visit: https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2023-12-06 (https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2023-12-06) Normally, we’d recommend you jump right into the episode, but this time, a primer may be helpful. We suggest starting with our recent Quantum Mechanic (https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2023-08-18) episode before you take a deep technical dive to the subatomic level for a fascinating window on the vast frontiers of quantum exploration… and potential applications in the real world. 

    • 32 min
    Episode 75: The Metamaterial Visionary

    Episode 75: The Metamaterial Visionary

    We usually think of materials based on our experience in the natural world. For example, something that’s light is usually fragile (like a feather) or something heavy is usually strong (like a brick). But what if we could engineer a material that had completely new characteristics that defied properties found in nature? Engineered materials, also known as metamaterials, allow us to do just that. DARPA Program Manager Dr. Rohith Chandrasekar (https://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-rohith-chandrasekar) in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/offices/DSO) has led programs designing metamaterials that revolutionize how light interacts with matter. His programs are enabling new concepts for improving Warfighter effectiveness and health on the battlefield with new optics and materials. In this episode, Dr. Chandrasekar discusses several of these programs including Enhanced Night Vision in Eyeglass Form (ENVision) (https://www.darpa.mil/program/envision), which has developed metamaterials to replace heavy and bulky binocular-like night-vision goggles lenses with lightweight lenses providing more infrared information and near eyesight field of view, in a form factor like a pair of glasses. He also discusses his Coded Visibility (https://www.darpa.mil/program/coded-visibility) program, which focused on developing novel obscurants (aka smoke) used on the battlefield to provide friendly forces with visibility of the environment, while simultaneously hiding them from detection by an adversary. The catch, however, is that the smoke particles needed to be safe to breathe and potentially even tunable using active sources. Finally, he talks about the Accelerating discovery of Tunable Optical Materials (ATOM) (https://www.darpa.mil/program/accelerating-discovery-of-tunable-optical-material) program. This effort seeks to identify new materials whose properties could be rapidly changed to enable different functions. Imagine a massive telephoto camera on the sideline of a sporting event replaced with a planar imaging system that could zoom, or a thin filter that can rapidly collect critical data across infrared bands for spectroscopy, all with no moving parts. Sounds like magic, but it’s not! Enjoy listening to DARPA’s Metamaterial Visionary.

    • 25 min
    Episode 74: Young Faculty Award

    Episode 74: Young Faculty Award

    Established in 2006, the Young Faculty Award (YFA) (https://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/for-universities/young-faculty-award) program aims to identify and engage rising academics in early-career research positions - particularly those without prior DARPA funding - and expose them to Department of Defense (DOD) needs and DARPA's mission to create and prevent technological surprise. The YFA program provides high-impact funding toresearchers at U.S. institutions early in their careers to advance innovative research enabling transformative DOD capabilities. The long-term goal of the YFA program is to build a pipeline for the next generation of academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will focus a significant portion of their career on DOD and national security issues.In this episode you'll hear from Dr. Rohith Chandrasekar (https://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-rohith-chandrasekar), who oversees DARPA's YFA program, as well as from DARPA Program Managers Dr. Chris Bettinger (https://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-christopher-bettinger) and Dr. Sunil Bhave (https://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-sunil-bhave), who reflect on their experience as YFA awardees early in their academic careers and the opportunities it has afforded them.DARPA recently published the 2024 YFA Research Announcement that features almost two dozen new technical topics and an additional open topic covering six thrust areas specific to DARPA's Defense Sciences Office (DSO). To view the full 2024 YFA Research Announcement visit SAM.gov: https://sam.gov/opp/f2bf469a50e7433fa758f0125831754b/view (https://sam.gov/opp/f2bf469a50e7433fa758f0125831754b/view) or Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/search-results-detail/350899 (https://www.grants.gov/search-results-detail/350899). Executive summaries, which are encouraged, are due by Dec. 13, 2023, 4:00 p.m. ET. Full proposals are due Feb. 22, 2024, 4 p.m. ET.

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

bbxsys ,

Hold on Sally!!

I feel like I strapped myself to Starship and was only equipped with water goggles.

SAARKÉSH ,

PR or Progress?

This was a huge relief but then the next natural question is: Why did we have to resort to a total life-freeze and so unprepared for these events at every systematic level? Where is this knowledge and experience propagated to if not the Homeland Security, CDC, etc...
At the minimum, the readiness of the Healthcare delivery industry & adequate training of the Healthcare staff should have been achieved by now.
Please keep up the great work & THANK YOU.

aSpar5oky ,

Interesting AI developments

Thought provoking discussion. I enjoyed hearing about new developments

Top Podcasts In Technology

Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg
All-In Podcast, LLC
Search Engine
PJ Vogt, Audacy, Jigsaw
Lex Fridman Podcast
Lex Fridman
Hard Fork
The New York Times
TED Radio Hour
NPR

You Might Also Like

Defense One Radio
Defense One staff
Irregular Warfare Podcast
Ben Jebb
Intelligence Matters: The Relaunch
Beacon Global Strategies LLC
a16z Podcast
Andreessen Horowitz
GZERO World with Ian Bremmer
GZERO Media
Dwarkesh Podcast
Dwarkesh Patel