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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

D.A.R.P.A.

Dear friends: Want a really good read?

Go to any DARPA website and have a look at what these people are doing in the field of advanced research.

Stuff like this has always interested me and here is a brief explanation of what DARPA is, and what it does!
For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in a myriad of consumer devices.
 Image result for sr 72
Aside from the  heavy-duty military stuff like the development of the SR-72 Blackbird as the succesor to the SR-71, and much, much, more that they don't talk about too much, here's a quick and very partial list of some of the diverse information technology stuff these people are up to:
-Big mechanisms are large, explanatory models of complicated systems in which interactions have important causal effects. The collection of big data is increasingly automated, but the creation of big mechanisms remains a human endeavor made increasingly difficult by the fragmentation and distribution of knowledge.

-The Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT) program is aimed at enabling communication with non-English-speaking populations and identifying important information in foreign-language sources by: 1) allowing English-speakers to understand foreign-language sources of all genres, including chat, messaging and informal conversation; 2) providing English-speakers the ability to quickly identify targeted information in foreign-language sources using natural-language queries; and 3) enabling multi-turn communication in text and speech with non-English speakers. If successful, BOLT would deliver all capabilities free from domain or genre limitations.

-The Clean-Slate Design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts (CRASH) program is focused on the design of new computer systems that are highly resistant to cyberattack, can adapt after a successful attack to continue rendering useful services, learn from previous attacks how to guard against and cope with future attacks, and can repair themselves after attacks have succeeded. The Cyber Defense Program is developing the core computing and networking technologies required to protect DoD's information, information infrastructure, and mission-critical information systems. This includes Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) is a DARPA program that aims to investigate whether large numbers of non-experts can perform formal verification faster and more cost-effectively than conventional processes.

-Automated, deep natural-language processing (NLP) technology may hold a solution for more efficiently processing text information and enabling understanding connections in text that might not be readily apparent to humans. The goal of the Multilingual Automatic Document Classification Analysis and Translation (MADCAT) program is to automatically convert foreign language text images into English transcripts, thus eliminating the need for linguists and analysts while automatically providing relevant, distilled actionable information to military command and personnel in a timely fashion.

-Plan X is a foundational cyberwarfare program to develop platforms for the Department of Defense to plan for, conduct, and assess cyberwarfare in a manner similar to kinetic warfare.

-Machine learning - the ability of computers to understand data, manage results and infer insights from uncertain information - is the force behind many recent revolutions in computing.

-The Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program aims to develop neurotechnology to facilitate the formation and recall of memories in humans living with memory impairments due to traumatic brain injury. (DARPA also launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program with a radical goal: Create an advanced electromechanical prosthetic upper limb with near-natural control that enhances independence and improves quality of life for amputees, and gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its use.)

-The SAFER program seeks to develop technology to enable safe, resilient communications over the Internet, particularly in situations in which third parties attempt to discover the identity or location of the end users, or block communications

-The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base. Through the program, DARPA seeks to develop tools to support the efforts of human operators to counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information.

-XDATA is developing an open source software library for big data to help overcome the challenges of effectively scaling to modern data volume and characteristics. The program is developing the tools and techniques to process and analyze large sets of imperfect, incomplete data.

DARPA goes to great lengths to identify, recruit and support excellent program managers—extraordinary individuals who are at the top of their fields and are hungry for the opportunity to push the limits of their disciplines. These leaders, who are at the very heart of DARPA’s history of success, come from academia, industry and government agencies for limited stints, generally three to five years. That deadline fuels the signature DARPA urgency to achieve success in less time than might be considered reasonable in a conventional setting.

The way I see it anyway!
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