Can The NSA’s Machines Recognize A Terrorist?

Machine learning algorithms used by the U.S. National Security Agency to identify potential terrorists in Pakistan may be ineffective, because we just don’t have enough data to tell the signs of a terrorist, claims an investigation by Ars Technica UK. The NSA project, disastrously named Skynet, uses cellular network traffic in Pakistan to identify and monitor potential threats, according to leaked documents on The Intercept. Like many machine learning algorithms in big data, it takes millions of values as input, and tries to match certain patterns. This was revealed by the Intercept in 2015, but the Ars investigation dives into how ineffective the program could really be. This is much like the machine learning used by tech companies today to govern most of what we see online. Facebook uses machine…


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