Pentagon and DARPA Seek Predictive A.I. to Uncover Enemy Thoughts

By Nicholas West

I’ve recently been covering the widening use of predictive algorithms in modern-day police work, which frequently has been compared to the “pre-crime” we have seen in dystopian fiction. However, what is not being discussed as often are the many examples of how faulty this data still is.

All forms of biometrics, for example, use artificial intelligence to match identities to centralized databases. However, in the UK we saw police roll-out a test of facial recognition at a festival late last year that resulted in 35 false matches and only one accurate identification. Although this extreme inaccuracy is the worst case I’ve come across, there are many experts who are concerned with the expansion of biometrics and artificial intelligence in police work when various studies have concluded that these systems may not be adequate to be relied upon within any system of justice.

The type of data collected above is described as “physical biometrics” – however, there is a second category which is also gaining steam in police work that primarily centers on our communications; this is called “behavioral biometrics.”

The analysis of behavior patterns leads to the formation of predictive algorithms which claim to be able to identify “hotspots” in the physical or virtual world that might indicate the potential for crime, social unrest, or any other pattern outside the norm. It is the same mechanism that is at the crux of what we are seeing emerge online to identify terrorist narratives and the various forms of other speech deemed to “violate community guidelines.” It is also arguably what is driving the current social media purge of nonconformists. Yet, as one recent prominent example illustrates, the foundation for determining “hate speech” is shaky at best. And, yet, people are losing their free speech and even their livelihoods solely based on the determinations of these algorithms.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently announced an artificial intelligence program that is being developed in partnership with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter to “stop cyberhate.” In their video, you can hear the ADL’s Director of the Center for Technology & Society admit to a “78-85% success rate” in their A.I. program to detect hate speech online. I actually heard that as a 15-22% failure rate. And they are defining the parameters. That is a disturbing margin for error, even when supposedly defining a nebulous concept and presuming to know exactly what is being looked for.

The above examples (and there are many more) should force us to imagine how error prone current A.I. could be when we account for the complexities of military strategies and political propaganda. Of course one might assume that the U.S. military has access to better technology than what is being deployed by police or social media. But these systems all ultimately occupy the same space and overlap in increasingly complex ways that can generate an array of potentially false matches. When it comes to war, this is an existential risk that far surpasses even the gross violations of civil liberties that we see in police work and our online communications.

Nevertheless, according to an article in Defense One, the Pentagon wants to use these potentially flawed algorithms to read enemy intentions and perhaps even to take action based on the findings.  This new system is being called COMPASS. My emphasis added:

This activity, hostile action that falls short of — but often precedes — violence, is sometimes referred to as gray zone warfare, the ‘zone’ being a sort of liminal state in between peace and war. The actors that work in it are difficult to identify and their aims hard to predict, by design.

“We’re looking at the problem from two perspectives: Trying to determine what the adversary is trying to do, his intent; and once we understand that or have a better understanding of it, then identify how he’s going to carry out his plans — what the timing will be, and what actors will be used,” said DARPA program manager Fotis Barlos.

Dubbed COMPASS, the new program will “leverage advanced artificial intelligence technologies, game theory, and modeling and estimation to both identify stimuli that yield the most information about an adversary’s intentions, and provide decision makers high-fidelity intelligence on how to respond–-with positive and negative tradeoffs for each course of action,” according to a DARPA notice posted Wednesday.

Source: The Pentagon Wants AI To Reveal Adversaries’ True Intentions

Depending on how those “tradeoffs” are weighed, it could form a justification for military deployment to a “hotspot,” much as we have seen with Chicago police and their “Heat List” to visit marked individuals before any crime has even been committed. In this case, though, the political ramifications could be disastrous for even a single false trigger.

The program aligns well with the needs of the Special Operations Forces community in particular. Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, has said that he’s interested in deploying forces to places before there’s a war to fight. Thomas has discussed his desire to apply artificial intelligence, including neural nets and deep learning techniques, to get “left of bang.”

As Defense One rightly suggests, there is a massive gulf between analyzing Big data for shopping patterns or other online activities versus the many dimensions that exist in modern warfare and political destabilization efforts.

Whether or not the COMPASS system ever becomes a reality, it appears at the very least that military intelligence will be seeking more data than ever before from every facet of society as justification for creating more security. That alone should spark heightened debate about how far down this road we are willing to travel.

For an excellent analysis about the central concerns raised in this article, please see:  “Predictive Algorithms Are No Better At Telling The Future Than A Crystal Ball”

Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Steemit. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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14 Comments on "Pentagon and DARPA Seek Predictive A.I. to Uncover Enemy Thoughts"

  1. These systems are just anonymized masks for their programmers and users, mechanizing prejudice.

  2. AI is crime.

  3. you mean the same pentagon which performed the 9/11 crime scene?? Since we ALL are now more ‘digitized’, alone due to the amount of aluminum in our bodies, not to mention wi-fi, we ALL ARE already the ‘sensors’ to be read by AI…Just look at your computer and its reaction to all what you read and write. And if you write a single word about REALITY, like GEOENGINEERING, the windows screen (IBM) will freeze..

  4. Simply within human dynamics, the self fulfilling prediction often (typically?) reigns supreme.

    If someone is insistent upon the “fact” that someone else wants to fight them, that belief will probably be the earliest point on the chain of events leading up to the actuality of a fight where any other state or value would have left the possibility of averting the conflict.

    If someone is presumed to be guilty of something that they have not, in fact, done, there is an X probability that they will engage in that activity because “After all, if I’m going to be judged for something, I might as well actually do it and get something out of the experience”.

    The most that this sort of technology should be allowed to be in the minds of anyone who is actually on the decision making chain, is a weather report circa 1980: Pack for all weather, and remember that the “probably terrorist” that the AI fingered in the tenement might actually be one of the undefinable assets of society while the person whose activity signature indicates something big, is actually the grandma lady across the hall who has been making bombs for almost 2 years.

  5. Just want to remind everyone who their enemy is – it is us. See: Trading with the Enemy Act of 1933 which lists US citizens as the enemy because of the bankruptcy. This also put us under martial law rule, which they’re just starting to admit and deploy – this is why we’re seeing more and more unconstitutional acts by police and politicians – because the constitution, which never applied to us it only referred to us, was suspended in 1933.

    • HI Grace would you mind pointing to me to the section in the TEA that you mention. I would like to read it and thank you for all the info you supply!

      • Hi John, unfortunately, they know better than to use those precise words, “you are the enemy,” so you have to research many acts by them that prove it. First, you might want to read the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, which did NOT list us as an enemy of the state. Then, when the bankruptcy and state of emergency occurred in 1933, Congress amended the Act by the passing the Emergency Banking Relief Act which extended the scope of the Trading with the Enemy Act to include US citizens, who were forced to turn in their gold because they supposedly owe them all that bankruptcy money.

        It started in 1892 when the international banksters first announced their plans to wage war against the U.S. population in their Banker’s Manifesto of 1892. However We the People weren’t officially made ‘enemies of the state’ until 1933 when Roosevelt, with the help of Congress, decided to steal the people’s gold on behalf of the Federal Reserve (international banksters). Roosevelt needed a ‘state of emergency’ to pull it off.

        By this Statute, everyone was required to turn in their gold. Failure to do so would constitute a violation of this provision, such violation to be punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 and imprisonment for not more than ten years. It was a seizure. Whose property may be seized without due process of law under the Trading With the Enemy Act? The enemy’s. Whose gold was seized? Ours — the gold of the people of the United States.

        • Thank you Mrs Grace! After I asked the question I did as you suggested and lo and behold again you are correct.

          • Grace by Faith | March 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm |

            You’re most welcome. 😉 The truth about everything they’ve done to us can be found in treaties, congressional and presidential record, case law and acts, orders and statutes, and these things were never taught to us nor does the media even mention them for obvious reasons. Here’s proof aside from the gold fringe around the flag which denotes a military venue under martial law rule, that we’ve been under martial law rule (state of emergency) since at least 1933, and probably since 1871 when we were Romanized (incorporated). My comments in brackets.

            “As we have said, the Federal Personal Income Tax is collected under a military venue within a martial law jurisdiction. Federal Reserve Notes are Military Scrip circulated in a Military Venue. The problem is the people don’t understand how the entire United States is in a Military Venue. … Under the Social Security Act [1933] there was brought into existence Ten Federal Regional Areas. These Ten Federal Regional Areas [sounds a lot like FEMA regions, huh?] are the same as a military base. It is not unconstitutional to circulate “military scrip” on a military base as the base is considered to be a military venue.

            “Military Scrip” cannot circulate in the civil jurisdiction of the United States. To get around this Constitutional bar the Congress created Ten Military Venues called Federal Regional Areas. The problem the Congress realized was, while Congress could restructure the Government agencies into these Federal Regional Areas, the people could not be identified to be within this Military Venue but by their own consent.” [see: jurisdiction, they tricked us into it, believe it or not, by assigning us Zip Codes which, when used designates our consent to live in one of the Ten Federal Regional Areas] Dyett v. Turner, 439 P2d 266 @ 269, 20 U2d 403 (*1968*) The Non-Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment by Judge A.H. Ellett, Utah Supreme Court.

          • Bruce Hayden | June 2, 2018 at 9:28 pm |

            Grace, I showed the map of the ten US regions to a few people in Las Vegas in 1994. One of them got back to me later and told me that they had gone to Laughlin for the weekend and noticed a new government building being constructed. The sign out front said Region IX. Nevada is in Region 9 of course.
            The world has also been divided into ten regions. Interesting the one beast in Revelation has ten horns and ten crowns.

          • Grace by Faith | June 3, 2018 at 5:01 am |

            Interesting find in Laughlin and you’re absolutely right, Bruce, they’re following the Bible like a playbook. Well done~

          • Grace by Faith | June 3, 2018 at 6:13 am |

            Zip Codes designate which of the Ten Federal Regional Area you’re in. What they did was say if you mailed something via federal post from one federal region to another, that’s somehow your consent – you volunteered to be in a federal jurisdiction, which is martial law (see: gold fringe around the flag). It’s a really clever trick, isn’t it? To trick us into their foreign military jurisdiction simply by the fact we used US mail? Smarmy bastages got away with murder.

      • Grace is a jewel

  6. well…. we all need to pick a side now…. and get ready…. Because, this crap will not allow bystanders…. you are either with us…or against us… There will be no innocent bystanders in our society after this is deployed to our streets….

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