Skip to comments.Pentagonís Prediction Software Didnít Spot Egypt Unrest
Posted on 02/15/2011 7:43:05 PM PST by smokingfrog
In the last three years, Americas military and intelligence agencies have spent more than $125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. Its the latest episode in Washingtons four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.
Instead, the head of the CIA is getting hauled in front of Congress, making calls about Egypts future based on what he read in the press, and getting proven wrong hours later. Meanwhile, an array of Pentagon-backed social scientists, software engineers and computer modelers are working to assemble forecasting tools that are able to reliably pick up on geopolitical trends worldwide. it remains a distant goal.
All of our models are bad, some are less bad than others, says mark Abdollahian, a political scientist and executive at Sentia Group, which has built dozens of predictive models for government agencies.
we do better than human estimates, but not by much, Abdollahian adds. But think of this like Las Vegas. in blackjack, if you can do four percent better than the average, youre making real money.
Over the past three years, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has handed out $90 million to more than 50 research labs to assemble some basic tools, theories and processes than might one day produce a more predictable prediction system. None are expected to result in the digital equivalent of crystal balls any time soon.
In the near term, Pentagon insiders say, the most promising forecasting effort comes out of Lockheed Martins Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill, new Jersey. ...
(Excerpt) Read more at technologynewsreport.com ...
Given a little more development time, I think IBM’s Watson could handle this stuff.
Bull crap. They were ordered to sit down and shut up. My organization suspended accompanied tours to Egypt many years ago and finally closed the area office a couple of years later. Egypt has been a tinder box for a long time.
No decision matrix is going to be WAD if it is fed crap assumptions.
It was too preoccupied with its kill streak bonus rewards with CoD Black Ops.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Obama's doing behind closed doors.
My prediction software is getting slower with age but it beat the government’s on the Muslim world. I just read a lot and think about things. Since I’m far from the sharpest knife in the drawer, I guess no one in the government does what I do.
The CIA software is not up to speed on the whole twitter thing yet, give it time it’s an emerging technology. :)
Very correct. Add one more factor: disallowing competing hypothesis outside of stated U.S. positions. That kills off any competitive analysis, even if the DNI says that competitive analysis exists.
Only private think tanks and authors come up with the true nature of Islam, not the Intelligence Community.
On the news the other night they were telling their big sob story about how much money Egypt is losing due to the tourists leaving.
I’ll settle for a model that accurately predicts when the American people will overdose on stupid and elect an idiot along with which idiot it will be. Knowing a few years in advance that Carter or Dumbo would be elected you could have predicted all sorts of stuff.
For some reason I can’t quite figure out, I find myself thinking about the Foundation trilogy.
The can spend all the money they want on those computers, but This will Always be true:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”