See what the Pentagon is doing?
I wonder how much doing that would cost the UK? More than £1.8bn, I’ll bet.
All to help us not be surprised (again) next time a major geopolitical or terrorist incident occurs (again) and to keep us safe from evil (again); of course monitoring social media and intercepting phonecalls is the answer (again) because more monitoring and interception is always the answer (again).
The Defense Department wants new computer tools to analyze mounds of unstructured text, blogs and tweets as part of a coordinated push to help military analysts predict the future and make decisions faster.
The search is part of the Office of Naval Research’s “Data to Decisions” program, a series of three-to-10-year initiatives that will address the volume of information that threatens to overwhelm planners in the digital age, contract databases indicate. The goal is to build an open source system that can unite various tools that collect, manage and draw relationships between data sets.
In a program announcement, ONR is calling for computer algorithms to predict events, fuse different forms of information and offer context on unfolding events. The office expects to spend $500,000 each year in funding. “The Department of Defense recognizes the potential for text analytics to play a vital role in future capabilities that inform timely and accurate situational awareness in time-constrained, uncertain, and complex environments,” the tender reads.
Defense is seeking ways to predict the future by monitoring Twitter, blogs and news, and determining the “frequency of contacts between nodes or clusters.” As networks grow larger and more complex, researchers have found it harder to monitor group behavior. ONR also wants researchers to discover networks that could be hidden within networks, and how information and money flows through a community.
Officials also want tools that fuse and assimilate multiple, incomplete data sets on agriculture, weather, terrain, demographics and economic indicators to find patterns. ONR is especially interested in ways to comb text-based information to provide more nuanced views of how groups, such as terrorists, operate by extrapolating the “stated values and beliefs that motivated behaviors of interest,” “community structure and clusters of social networks” and the level of “emotional support expressed towards topics or persons.”
The office also seeks better technologies for machine translation and processing — translating physical characters or sounds — into one machine-readable language.