Memorial Lecture

Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

This annual lecture, named in honor of the late Royal D. Alworth, Jr.'s life and interests, is designed to raise public understanding of a significant international topic.

The 2023-2024 Memorial lecture is Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 (Please note this lecture has been changed from April 15th.)
6:30 pm (CDT)
Virtual via Zoom - Register or sign in at

Paul Scharre - White man, brown hair, goatee, dark suit, white shirt, red tie

Presented by Paul Scharre, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for a New American Security, and author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence 

A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives—and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially among the AI superpowers: China, the United States, and Europe. Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger and Pentagon official, will talk on his book, Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Scharre's first book, Army of None, won the 2019 Colby Award, was named one of Bill Gates’ Top 5 Books of 2018, and named by The Economist as one of the top five books to understand modern warfare. Scharre will discuss the U.S.-China AI rivalry and the fierce global competition to lead an AI-driven future. 

TIME magazine, in 2023, named Dr. Scharre as one of the “100 most influential people in AI”.   Scharre previously worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he played a leading role in establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies. He led the Department of Defense (DoD) working group that drafted DoD Directive 3000.09, establishing the department’s policies on autonomy in weapon systems. He also led DoD efforts to establish policies on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programs and directed energy technologies. Scharre was involved in the drafting of policy guidance in the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, and secretary-level planning guidance. Prior to joining OSD, Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne, Ranger, and Sniper Schools and Honor Graduate of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Indoctrination Program. Scharre has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, TIME, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Politico, and USA Today, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and the BBC. He has testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and has presented at the United Nations, NATO, the Pentagon, the CIA, and other national security venues. He holds a PhD in war studies from King’s College London and an MA in political economy and public policy and a BS in physics from Washington University

You can check out a short clip on NPR All Things Considered about Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence; and a brief interview on CNN of Scharre speaking about AI and warfare.