The field of information systems engineering is facing new challenges with the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across public sectors and a resulting surge of legal, privacy and ethical concerns.
David Silberberg, a computer scientist and engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, is excited to help address these challenges as the newly appointed chair of the Johns Hopkins Whiting School’s Information Systems Engineering program, preparing working engineers and scientists to master the next generation of information systems. His appointment in the school’s Engineering for Professionals program was announced by Whiting Dean Ed Schlesinger.
Silberberg also serves as research director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy (IAA), where he is addressing similar challenges as he oversees a portfolio of 10 research projects involving teams of Johns Hopkins researchers. These transformational projects include developing a policy framework for autonomous vehicles; developing software for safe traffic management in national airspace; assuring safe operations of AI-enabled systems in offices, hospitals and other social spaces; assuring privacy and fairness in AI technologies; and strengthening AI systems against adversarial attacks.
Silberberg said the critical importance of advancing the information systems engineering field can be seen in transportation, smart cities, health care, military systems and beyond. “Engineering traditional systems is hard, but AI and ML increase their complexity exponentially. We need to make sure these systems perform as expected and are trustworthy, reliable and ethical as they integrate into the greater public ecosystem,” he said, adding that he considers the training of professionals in engineering modern systems to be a national priority.
Silberberg has served as a part-time Whiting School faculty member since 1999, most recently teaching the Large-Scale Database Systems course. He said he finds it rewarding to see former students apply what they learned in his class to systems that are critical to national security and defense.
At APL for more than 25 years, Silberberg is currently working in the Cyber Operations Mission Area developing AI- and ML-related programs for the intelligence community. He previously supervised a large-scale analytics group that applies ML- and AI-based algorithms to analyze large, complex data.
Silberberg also leads development of IAA’s new Flagship projects that will advance the trustworthiness of autonomous systems in applied, real-world settings. “We need to develop tools and methods that will ensure safe operations in our communities,” he said.
The Johns Hopkins Information Systems Engineering program is part of a suite of Engineering for Professionals programs ranked No. 2 in Computer Information Technology by U.S. News & World Report, covering a broad range of areas, from distributed systems and information security to project management and systems analysis.