DARPA seeks 'total information awareness'

DARPA seeks 'total information awareness'

Biometric, language processing, predictive modeling and database technologies are all key areas of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's revamped strategy to assist homeland security.

The goal of what DARPA calls its total information awareness programs is to prevent terrorist attacks, said Robert L. Popp, deputy director of the agency's Information Awareness Office. Popp spoke yesterday at a conference in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Biometric Consortium

DARPA created the Information Assurance Office early this year to develop new technologies for extracting and analyzing data that could help the war on terrorism, Popp said.

Among the initiatives that the office has launched this year is Genisys, which seeks new ways to design ultralarge information repositories for counterterrorism efforts while protecting the privacy of innocent people, Popp said.

Translingual Information Detection, Extraction and Summarization, or TIDES, will help English-speaking analysts understand intercepted messages in other languages, Popp said. DARPA's initial efforts with TIDES will focus on Arabic and Chinese, as will a related program to improve the accuracy of speech recognition.

DARPA's Human Identification at a Distance program is wrapping up a new round of tests on various facial recognition products, program manager Jonathon Phillips told conference attendees. Phillips, on detail at DARPA from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said that results of HID tests are scheduled for posting on www.frvt.org in November.

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