--[ AvengerCon Panel Discussion

This year's panel discussion focuses on the many recent innovations and mass proliferation of AI-driven tools, including large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, and other generative AI systems capable of creating or modifying text, audio, image, and video content.

The panel will explore topics including the current state of these tools, their current and potential uses supporting cybersecurity applications and USG cyberspace operations, limitations and security flaws of these systems including prompt injection, and the potential consequences of this technology for the world's larger information environment. Please note that our team is still refining the agenda and discussion questions for the panel, and we may adjust the topical details before the event. (Feel free to send in questions!)

Mr. Kevin Dwyer, VP of Engineering at Black Cape

Kevin Dwyer

Kevin Dwyer has spent the past 24 years professionally cultivating a curiosity in all forms of technology to include backbone internet security, at-scale Natural Language Processing, machine learning model development, packet capture session and exfil reconstruction, alternative positioning navigation and timing (A-PNT) implementation, and Software Defined Radio command and control systems to name just a few.

A lifelong study of the fundamentals of Computer Science, Kevin believes that technology is a means to an end and prefers pragmatic solutions that meet today's mission needs. The ability to apply the mathematical approaches of the field to improve the daily lives of military and civilian government personnel at scale has driven most of Kevin's career.

In his personal time, Kevin enjoys building First Person View Drones from scratch and wrenching on his 1992 Suzuki GS500. He continues to try to excite his four children to learn to code, but hasn't been successful yet.

At Black Cape, Kevin oversees design and engineering functions for over 100 engineers in a cross-functional, agile environment. Black Cape's customers span most of the IC and its cloud native software solutions are deployed in production for users and operators across the world.

MAJ Ian Garrett, US Army Reserve and CEO/co-founder of Phalanx

MAJ Ian Garrett

Major Ian Garrett is the CEO and co-founder of Phalanx, a human-friendly data loss prevention and document mapping solution that automatically secures & tracks sensitive documents in existing workspaces.

Ian knows that the best security strategy starts with building technology that adapts to human behavior. He has gained this insight through his experience as an active-duty US Army Cyber officer, as well as his academic research in cybersecurity. In addition to his military service, Ian has worked extensively in the defense sector as a data scientist and program manager. He currently serves in the US Army Reserves with USCYBERCOM.

With his extensive knowledge and practical experience, Ian is recognized as a thought leader in the field of cybersecurity. He has published papers and has been invited to speak at numerous events and conferences, where he shares his insights on topics ranging from cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the effects of cybersecurity on the future of work.

Ian holds a B.S in Computer Science from West Point (United States Military Academy), an M.S in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University, and conducts research in support of his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech with research focused on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. He also has a number of professional certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI).

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Ian is committed to mentoring and inspiring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. He actively participates in mentoring programs, workshops, and educational initiatives, aiming to cultivate diverse talent and foster a strong cybersecurity workforce to safeguard our digital future.

Dr. Ravi Starzl, Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Ravi Starzl

Dr. Ravi Starzl is an integrated artificial intelligence, machine learning, and complex systems specialist who has trained at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He is currently a faculty member at CMU and the University of Colorado, as well as an AI subject matter expert with IoT/AI-Intelesense. He is known for his creative and unorthodox problem-solving approach and leads from the front in tackling difficult, high-value challenges.

Dr. Starzl emphasizes a cross-disciplinary research approach, bridging the domains of computer science, philosophy, and complex systems. Throughout his career, he has been a key contributor to a number of notable projects and initiatives. For example, Dr. Starzl was a lead machine learning specialist and plastic surgery fellow on teams that conducted some of the first hand and face transplants in the United States and Austria. He was also a part of the CMU team that developed the Jeopardy-winning question answering system, Watson, as well as the team that developed advanced maintenance analytics and proactive component failure prediction for Boeing commercial and military aircraft. In addition, Dr. Starzl has made significant contributions to the field of bacterial engineering, creating intelligent, environmentally responsive cells capable of a wide range of therapeutic modes. He also helped to pioneer the successful application of machine learning to detect and manage immunosuppression in transplant patients.

Dr. Starzl has numerous peer-reviewed publications across several fields of science and has delivered dozens of invited talks throughout the United States, Germany, and Austria. He has received several awards for best technical paper, presentation, and transformative invention. Additionally, he has been awarded several commendations for excellence in teaching and student engagement. He was also recognized in the 2023 Business Intelligence Group Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards. He splits his time between Boulder, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. In his free time Dr. Starzl also enjoys activities such as motorcycling, boxing, and hiking with his two DDR German Shepherds. He is a member of the Association of Computational Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Society for Biological Engineering.

Panel Moderator: 1LT Adrian Naaktegeboren, US Army Cyber Protection Brigade

Adrian Naaktgeboren is an active duty Cyber officer currently serving as the 1st Cyber Battalion's S3 Future Operations Officer at Ft. Eisenhower. 1LT Naaktgeboren previously served as 1CYBN's Operations Officer (S3) and a Mission Element Lead on 153 Cyber Protection Team focusing on Defensive Cyber Operations across Cloud Vendors. Adrian is an enthusiast of reverse engineering, binary exploitation and a relentless challenger of NSA's Codebreakers. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Oswego.