by Nicholas West
The era of Big Data is upon us. Major corporations in the areas of advertising, social media, defense contracting, and computing are forming partnerships with government agencies to compile virtual dossiers on all humans. This data integration initiative is taking place across the board in our largest federal agencies and departments as part of an Office of Science and Technology outline that includes a $200 million upfront investment, as well as a $250 million annual investment by military departments into human-computer interaction.
Seeing the vast potential of Big Data management and applications, Oblong Industries – the actual creator of the software that appeared in the movie Minority Report, (known by its propriety name g-speak) – is now offering a commercial version in the marketplace. An AFP article posted at Raw Story is quick to point out that the software has been stripped of its “pre-crime” detection analytics. But should this blanket dismissal by a mainstream news agency be comforting in light of stated U.S. government goals that seek to turn science fiction into science reality?
While Oblong Industries claims to have disabled the analytics portion of the software that could be used in pre-crime screening taken right from the Minority Report film, they state that private companies and law enforcement agencies could certainly augment their scaled-back version by introducing their own analytics. However, two of Oblong’s current clients are Boeing – the world’s second largest defense contractor and drone specialists; and #12 General Electric – specialists in electronic warfare components and military communication systems. Their combined annual sales are more than $35 billion, which makes it quite likely that new technology will be embraced and proliferated.
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