2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

DARPA: navigating the rapidly expanding infospace

DARPA was created to avoid technological surprise. But in many cases, the surprise is due to the fact that our awareness is driven by our expectations. In other words, we see what we expect to see - not necessarily what is really out there. The event that precipitated the creation of DARPA was our complete surprise by the Soviet launch of Sputnik that was a surprise not because the evidence for it was not clear leading up to the event, but rather because we assumed that the Soviets were peasants and the idea that they would be able to perform such a feat was beyond imagination. This talk is about avoiding technological surprise by looking outside the box.



Daniel Kaufman

Office Dir


Mr. Dan Kaufman joined DARPA in August 2009 as Director of the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO). He led the merger of IPTO with the Transformational Convergence Technology Office to create the Information Innovation Office (I2O) and became the first I2O Director in August 2010. In this role Mr. Kaufman is responsible for identifying and creating promising new information technologies and developing DARPA programs to exploit these advances for the benefit of the DoD. Mr. Kaufman staffs the Office and works with I2O program managers to develop concepts and plans for new programs and to transition I2O R&D products to end users. He also determines I2O’s investment strategy and was instrumental in formulating and implementing I2O’s current R&D thrusts in cybersecurity and big data analytics. In an earlier DARPA tour Mr. Kaufman served in the Defense Science Office (DSO) as Program Manager for the Real World Program, a computer system designed to allow soldiers to rapidly create their own mission rehearsal scenarios in geo-specific terrain.

Prior to joining DARPA/DSO, Mr. Kaufman worked for Auratio Consulting, where he handled a wide variety of deals with investment bankers, venture capitalists and private companies. Prior to his consulting efforts, Mr. Kaufman worked for Kalisto Entertainment on general business operations and producing/designing the products Dark Earth, Nightmare Creatures and Ultim@te Race. Before Kalisto, Mr. Kaufman was Co-COO at Dreamworks Interactive, a joint venture between Microsoft and Dreamworks SKG. Earlier in his career Mr. Kaufman was an attorney with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison (Palo Alto, CA), conducting transactions ranging from semiconductor chips to biotechnology to software companies.

Mr. Kaufman co-authored an 800-page textbook entitled: Corporate Partnering: Structuring and Negotiating Domestic and International Strategic Alliances. He has lectured at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and U.C. Berkeley.

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