KDnuggets : News : 2003 : n17 : item19 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >


FutureWatch: Using computers to outthink terrorists

Can software algorithms predict a terrorist's next move before he makes it?

Future Watch by Dan Verton

SEPTEMBER 01, 2003 ( COMPUTERWORLD ) - Some of the technology shown in last year's blockbuster movie Minority Report may soon be a reality and a centerpiece of the intelligence community's war on terrorism. In the futuristic thriller, Tom Cruise played the head of a police unit that uses psychic technology to arrest and convict murderers before they commit their crimes.

Research into new intelligence technology is taking place as part of a $54 million program known as Genoa II, a follow-on to the Genoa I program, which focused on intelligence analysis.

In Genoa II, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is studying potential IT that may not only enable new levels of collaboration among teams of intelligence analysts, policy-makers and covert operators, but could also make it possible for humans and computers to "think together" in real time to "anticipate and preempt terrorist threats," according to official program documents.

Genoa II may be shelved because of its central role in the controversial Terrorism Information Awareness program, but private-sector researchers say many significant advances are still possible and are, in fact, already happening.

For example, private-sector researchers are studying cognitive amplifiers that can enable software to model current situations and predict "plausible futures." Researchers are also on the verge of creating practical applications to support cognitive machine intelligence, associative memory, biologically inspired algorithms and Bayesian inference networks, which are based on a branch of mathematical probability theory that says uncertainty about the world and outcomes of interest can be modeled by combining common sense with evidence observed in the real world.

Here is the full story from ComputerWorld.

KDnuggets : News : 2003 : n17 : item19 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >

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