As the global community continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Atlantic Council is open for business. Our business, meetings, and events, however, are occurring virtually. For more information, please read an update from our President and CEO.

Event description

Trust – between people, between populations, and between human and machine – is an increasingly challenging convention as we navigate the “post-truth” era and the unprecedentedly complex information age. The concept of trust is arguably humanity’s most empowering trait, enabling cooperation between people on a grand scale and in pursuit of our most complicated endeavors. Our ability to build trust with machines has accelerated our exploration and will push the bounds of human cognition as we learn to augment our thinking with computers. In an unfathomably vast information environment, humans will be repeatedly forced to preserve trust in our observations against a deluge of data. We will have to learn to trust computers to make sense of it all.

How will we negotiate these situations given the challenges posed by misinformation, disinformation, and technically enabled deceptions like deep fake images, video, and audio? Will our predilection for conflict, power, and force projection disrupt this journey? Will we successfully graduate from our present trials by nurturing the concept of trust as we develop new methods to preserve ideals of objectivity, truth, and cooperation?

What might we witness in the coming years with respect to trust in devices, people, and institutions? What is the future of trust, and what are its implications for sense-making? What do all these things imply about our future digital lives?


Dr. David Bray
Director, GeoTech Center
Atlantic Council


Dr. Joseph T. Bonivel, Jr.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, GeoTech Center
Atlantic Council;
Subject Matter Expert
United States Department of Defense

Mr. Stephen Rodriguez
Nonresident Senior Fellow and Senior Adviser, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Mr. Alex Ruiz
Phaedrus Engineering

Dr. Tara Kirk Sell
Senior Scholar
JHU Center for Health Security

Ms. Sara-Jayne Terp
CogSec Collaboration