Russian hacking and social media activities in the U.S. presidential election reflected “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope of effort,” but they did not directly involve the vote tallying process, according to a declassified report by the U.S. intelligence community released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The U.S. government wants to buck the trend of years of steady but slow progress to make computers much smarter at everyday mundane tasks. The Defense Department and other agencies want to pick up the pace to mirror the disruptive advances of years past that led to the Internet, Global Positioning System and Siri.
Private companies already might be beating the government to the finish line, producing advances some say are equal parts inspiring and troubling. The technology blitz has prompted government and industry officials alike to sound cautionary alarms about advanced artificial intelligence.
One year ago, scientists announced that they had designed artificial intelligence that displayed a humanlike ability to learn on its own. The breakthrough raised the possibility that machines could one day replace human intelligence analysts.
That day will not come.
To date, analytical software has significantly aided but not supplanted human analysis. Viewing the analytical process as a relay race, the better the software, the closer the analyst is to the finish line after the machine passes the baton. The analyst adds vast contextual understanding of the entire problem necessary to even grasp the baton.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is daring industry to develop a new generation of intelligence technologies that would change the way analysts parse and process information. Its Intelligence Ventures in Exploratory Science and Technology effort, also known as In-VEST, aims to draw out the latest commercial technologies that could aid the community.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, has selected its winners from its crowd-sourced Multi-View Stereo 3-D Mapping Challenge—a contest to see who could best convert satellite photos into 3-D models to create more accurate maps.
The top challenge solvers demonstrated their solutions during an all-day workshop Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The open source solutions were released during the event and will be made available to the public on an IARPA website.
Researchers for the U.S. intelligence community intend to build software applications that will make it easier to design and develop superconducting networks to power future supercomputers capable of much faster processing with lower energy requirements. The tools will reduce the time and cost to design superconductor-based circuits, potentially revolutionizing the computer and electronics industry.
The U.S. intelligence community (IC) must transform its ability to discern threats from hundreds of millions of data points that flood databases each day and provide timely, actionable findings to warfighters and government officials. As it stands, agencies devote too much time, money and talent to reading data and must find new ways to keep their edge over adversaries. One way of addressing the problem is turning analysts’ thoughts into digital analytic models.
You read that correctly.
Athletes and coaches alike constantly study game film of opposing teams and players, identifying patterns and collecting intelligence that can provide insights into the opposition’s tendencies and overall game plan. This allows a team to formulate a strategy to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses.
Sports present an apt analogy for predictive intelligence. Achieved largely through the tools of big data analytics and augmented by other types of intelligence, a predictive capability takes on many forms. At its core, it assists in promoting timely and actionable information to identify trends or behaviors that enable the prediction of events. As a result, officials can act in a prompt and decisive manner.
The next 17 days leading up to the presidential election pose a rather vulnerable time for the United States—more so than usual during a transition of power, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
“This year, for lots of reasons, people are nervous, particularly for an election cycle that has been sportier than normal,” Clapper shared during at presentation Thursday at AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) speaker series.
The recurring theme throughout the premier intelligence summit in the nation’s capital this week was a parade of nations: The United States is worried about enduring threats posed by Russia, China and North Korea. Sprinkled into the mounting global risk landscape is the drawn-out strife against terrorism—with no near-term end—and the escalating vulnerabilities of the cyber realm.
The presentations offered a realistic snapshot of global turmoil today, bordering on a lot of doom and gloom.
Intelligence officials touched on a wide variety of issues during the two-day Intelligence & National Security Summit (INSS), held September 7 and 8.
The United States Navy has tested and deployed the RQ-20B Puma small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) aboard a Flight I Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG Class), according to an AeroVironment Inc. announcement. Some of these exercises included the use of the company’s fully autonomous system to recover the aircraft aboard a ship.
The complexity of counterterrorism efforts and information sharing in the United States dwarfs the challenges besetting European governments as the continent contends with penetrable borders, an influx of refugees and the radicalization of some of its youth.
The rise in turmoil not only threatens the existence of the Schengen area, in which 26 countries abolished the need for passports to cross mutual borders, but complicates intelligence efforts to combat terror, said Michael Leiter, chief operations officer at Leidos, a panelist at the third annual Intelligence & National Security Summit (INSS) in Washington, D.C. this week.
Geospatial intelligence technology rapidly is advancing and in some ways leaving behind the U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community. Looking to stay on the cutting edge, the nation’s premier geospatial intelligence agency is reorganizing its research and development arm to focus more on long-term research and developing closer ties to other agencies, the private sector and academia.
As discussed in my last post, to meet the needs of the nation’s combatant commands (COCOMs) and National Command Authority, government and industry must evolve the current intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, sensors and ground systems into a truly global ISR enterprise. An incremental approach must be combined with overarching actions to migrate to common ISR information technology infrastructures, orchestrated toward the larger goal of an integrated ISR enterprise. This can be done through three DOD ISR focus areas:
The world of intelligence sharing has gone from on a need-to-know basis between federal agencies to one in which those key players must, by necessity, combine disparate pieces of intel to ascertain a complete picture of potential threats.
The emergence of cyber as a battlespace domain has changed the formula for intelligence gathering as well as warfighting. No longer can any form of the traditional intelligence architecture guarantee national security superiority. Just as weapon systems needed to accommodate new technologies, the intelligence community now must leverage the trinity of sensors, big data and cyber.
A Virginia-based radio frequency and analytics startup wants to go where no commercial business has gone before.
HawkEye 360, a subsidiary of Allied Minds, is teaming with Lockheed Martin and Deep Space Industries to launch the small business' RF detection, mapping and predictive analytic technologies to detect radio frequency (RF) from space for global commercial and government use, giving customers a unique intelligence offering that cuts across air, land and sea networks.
The U.S. Air Force and industry partners are developing a unique phased array for high-throughput intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services for X-band satellite services.
During a recent display at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Ball Aerospace and XTAR demonstrated that Ball’s Airlink X-1 antenna configured for the C-130 hatch was able to transmit 4.5 megabits of data per second over the XTAR-LANT satellite, a marked throughput increase over existing terminals, officials say.
An intelligence-based research agency has launched a challenge to foster a community of participants that will produce a solution to accurately produce 3-D mapping from satellite photos.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, set in motion its Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge, inviting the broader research community of industry and academia, with or without experience in multiview satellite imagery, to participate in a non-contractual way.
Europe is asleep at the wheel and needs an awakening before it crashes, warned Lt. Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian Defense Forces.
The reactionary nature of the continent’s militaries has caught leaders unawares far too many times already, and forces no longer can afford to leave proactive measures to someone else, Gen. Terras shared during the inaugural day of NITEC 2016, a cyber conference being held this week in Tallinn, Estonia.
“What happens in the world comes as a surprise for Europe,” said Gen. Terras, who pulled no punches when laying out examples of when European leaders were caught off guard.