Perhaps no technology captured the public’s imagination in 2023 like artificial intelligence, with firms like OpenAI grabbing headlines – both good and bad. The Pentagon and defense industry were no different, with top leaders quick to espouse the potential benefits of the technology, even while admitting they don’t really have a handle on it yet.

Though less splashy, Pentagon leaders also spent chunks of the year studying the potential applications of quantum technology – something that a decade ago seemed unlikely to ever really come to fruition, but which experts now believe is closer to a reality, at least in some applications.

In this four-part series, Breaking Defense contributing editor Sydney Freedberg takes a step back from the hype for both technologies and asks not just how the Pentagon could apply such capabilities, but whether it actually makes sense. It’s a question DoD leaders don’t always ask as they chase the latest buzzword, but it’s a vital thread to pull for both defense planners and industry executives who hope to cash in on these new capabilities.

I trust you will find this collection of stories illustrative and thought provoking. At the very least, we promise it will be more interesting than something written by an AI.

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