Feeds

DARPA hands BBN $30m in evil 'Machine Reading' plan

Satanic devil project to automate low-rent journalism

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Famed techsploration company BBN - renowned for inventing forerunner internet kit, and for giving the world the "@" symbol in email addresses - has received a hefty wedge of green from the US military to automate out of business everyone who uses the internet for a living.

DARPA graphic explaining how you evaluate AI auto-reader software

The spinoff cartoon series should be interesting, at least

The Pentagon's Machine Reading programme, which we here on the Reg my-job-went-into-the-cloud desk reported on last November, last week awarded BBN $29.7m to develop processing software able to turn "natural language" information - for instance text written by humans for humans - into "formal language" data usable by military AI systems. Machine Reading technology would be used particularly by military intelligence staff seeking to boil down mountains of information about theatres or areas of operation into useful form.

One need hardly add, of course, that Machine Reading comes to us courtesy of DARPA - the agency which seeks to develop the possibly-battle-winning technologies of the future not only before the enemy is able to do so, but in most cases before its own people are able to do so.

In the case of Machine Reading, DARPA plan to assess several candidate systems - BBN's among them - by a complex process apparently involving the implantation of a funnel into somebody's head (see graphic).

"The machine reading system that DARPA envisions is not evolutionary, but revolutionary," says Prem Natarajan, speech and language processing veep at BBN. "Such a system could eliminate many of the impediments to stability that our military faces such as a lack of understanding of local customs, and give us the ability to assess global technology developments continuously."

Sadly for many people, the Machine Reading ware would also be of use to skinflint biz and gov overlords seeking to avoid the expense of having people in offices reading the internet and reprocessing it. This could see intelligence officers, analysts and pundits of every stripe, even Reg hacks forced out of employment.

This last aspect of the matter may have something to do with the fact that all authoritative analysis suggests that Machine Reading can never work. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.