Feeds

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

Satanic devil project to automate low-rent journalism

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.