Practical Technology

for practical people.

Real Life ‘Pre-Crime’ Technology


We live in an age of wonders. We can talk and see our friends in the world over the Internet. We live in an age of horrors. Third-world dictatorships are working on atomic bombs. And, we live in age where new miracles and terrors are only a research project away.

Take, for example, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the government agency that brought us the Internet. Now, besides working on bullets that will home in on their targets, EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), DARPA is working on algorithms that can be used to predict when someone is getting ready to commit a crime.

Who needs three mutant pre-cogs ala the movie Minority Report and Philip K. Dick’s short story The Minority Report it was based on, when you have computers? The theory is, given the right algorithms and computers, the government should be able to figure out when “a soldier in good mental health” may become an “insider threat.”

Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS) is still in its Request for Proposal (RFP) days may sound like science fiction, but really, is there anything that’s fictional about it?

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