DARPA wants 'pre-crime' technology

New program seeks to find troubled soldiers

In the Tom Cruise film “Minority Report,” specially trained agents detect and arrest criminals before they commit their crimes.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking algorithms that will allow it to do something similar, according to Wired’s "Danger Room" blog. But instead of finding criminals among the general population, DARPA wants to find troops at risk of endangering themselves or their compatriots.

Recent incidents such as the fatal shootings at Fort Hood and the release of classified information via WikiLeaks has some military leaders on edge.

“The idea behind the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales, or ADAMS, effort is to sift through ‘massive datasets’ to find the warning signs of looming homicide, suicide or other destructive behavior,” writes Spencer Ackerman for "Danger Room."

He goes on to quote a DARPA statement: “The focus is on malevolent insiders that started out as ‘good guys.’ The specific goal of [ADAMS] is to detect anomalous behaviors before or shortly after they turn.”

What the signs of such a person would be or how technology might detect them in data patterns isn’t clear. An industry day to be held Oct. 19 at System Planning Corp. in Arlington, Va., might answer some of those questions.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 Manfredo Giaccio Baton Rouge, LA

This algorithm looks like science fiction however for a well trained professional it may help some how. There is a lot of intuition in sience. Some times it looks like magic, the important thing is the result. The first impresion that you obtain from a person cannot be easily described in mathematical terms and this may be the most important data.

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 Tanin

I'm sure Catholics and Orwellians will love this thought-crime detector.

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 cadet/airmen michael peter ill new haven

in order to acomplish pre crime tech you need to be experts at brain technology to be able to detect thoughts, nervousness,etc.... once you complete this advancedments in the tech then you have the highway to detect crimes before they happen, create a sensor to detect these symptoms of the brain then develope a survey in which most crimes take place then station your sensors at the postion like a bank, in the gangster infestead areas dont make the sensors stand out DARPA YOU ARE SMART ASS PEOPLE YOU HAVE THE CAPABILITY HOOORAH!!

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 weary worker

Fer (sic) the love of God, NO! Not ANOTHER information system to solve our problems! Why does the answer to a perceived problem ALWAYS have to be ANOTHER over-priced IS that is deployed too fast with no real testing and jammed down workers' throats? I know the answer: so the PTB can mark the problem SOLVED. As for Fort Hood, I'm with Defender on this one. There were people at Fort Hood who knew Hasan was a problem, but nobody listed to these people and/or had the stones to confront the problem. Data collection, Schmata collection! No billion-dollar data collection system will help us if the PTB can't listen and respond appropriately to the valid observations of our own people.

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 Tom

There is no secret software needed. When a person joins the active/reserve military the government routinely has access to more "personal" information than a person not affiliated with military. Adjust the appointment/enlistment/affiliation procedures to include the individual' spermission for the military to get a credit report/rating once a year on all military members (including senior officers). Those with "low" credit scores....may be your first group to be offered assistance to resolve personal financial issues and at the same time the data can be tracked for any alarming tendencies. The Army, Navy and Air Force already have a Personal Financial Management Program that includes personal/individual counseling.

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