Jon Troyer, Ph.D., is a SoarTech Research Scientist and currently the principal investigator for DARPA Manta Ray, a long range underwater autonomous robot with a human-centered AI that SoarTech is building that will make the high level decisions.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Jon always wanted to be a scientist, earning a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering from the Academy; a masters in physics from Eastern Michigan, and his Ph.D. in physics from Wayne State.

“I have always enjoyed science and am on what I consider my third distinct science-centered career, in ‘past lives’ having been a nuclear submarine officer and x-ray astronomer,” said Jon. “When I was younger, a rock star was high on the list as well as marine biology. I enjoyed watching Jacques Cousteau.”

Recruited by SoarTech, Jon came aboard because “artificial intelligence sounded cool,” he said. “SoarTech has truly collected a group of the smartest, most-talented employees I have ever worked with. Working with high-caliber people lifts you and helps you grow in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise.”

Jon believes a human-centered AI solution is key to addressing tough military problems because “AI/robots are not being designed to replace humans, so their human operators need to understand why the AI makes decisions and the logic of the decision-making process.  One of the advantages of human-centered AI solutions is that the AI decision making is fully-exposed and made understandable.”

When Jon is not busy with SoarTech projects, he likes to cook and enjoy vegetarian dishes while drinking a glass of wine and listening to lounge jazz. He also keeps African cichlid aquarium fish in over 400 gallons of aquariums in his basement. He added, “I try to keep up my bass guitar playing and need to find an old man band to join.”


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