Predict the future and stopping the terrorists before it’s too late is the “pitch,” the one-line plot of the sci-fi movie starring Tom Cruise, Minority Report. Or at least it was, because it’s becoming a reality. The Pentagon has revealed that it can use artificial intelligence to see into the future, anticipating events by a few days.
Pentagon artificial intelligence predicts the future
“What we have seen is the opportunity to see well in advance, moving from being reactive to being pro-active. And I’m not talking about minutes or hours. I’m talking about days ”comments the generale Glen D. VanHerck, comandate del NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).
This between said it to the reporters gathered to talk about the GIDE (Global Information Dominance Experiment), project that it involves all eleven divisions of the American defense. The Pentagon hasn’t released many details on how GIDE works for strategic reasons. But we know that the Minority Report Precogs have nothing to do with it. Instead it is an AI that combines data collected by the military and makes predictions using machine learning.
“We take sensors from all over the world, not just military sensors but also commercially obtainable information. And we use them to stay alert. We use artificial intelligence and machine learning to look and evaluate, for example, the average number of cars in a parking lot in a specific location that may indicate a threat ”. And in cases like these, the computer may suggest checking satellite images for suspicious activity.
VanHerck specifies that there are no new technologies per se, but rather a new way to use them to respond proactively to threats. But he ensures that “There are no machines that make decisions. But for sure, machines can give us more options ”.
In addition to Minority Report, there are tons of other science fiction stories about the machines that predict the future. One of our favorites is the Person of Interest series, which begins each episode with the phrase “They are watching you”. Which becomes even more disturbing when you get out of science fiction. Hardly any of these stories end well, but hopefully the Army is held more accountable than the real-life film counterpart. It goes without saying that there will be a need to continue to control the controllers, so that it is an instrument of defense and not of oppression. We suspect that we will come back to talk about GIDE again, even if we don’t have computers that foresee the future.