Sunday, March 23, 2008

DOD's "Sentient" World Simulation

Apparently the US military is looking into developing a massive simulation of the entire geopolitical canvas of the Earth, with a node representing "every man, woman and child." Although I'm sure it involves lots of data and some serious computation, I sincerely doubt the predictions made by this system will be any better than that of a seasoned human analyst.

I suppose you could turn over strategic nuclear decisions to this thing and just wait for Judgment Day...

While articles of this type are often titillating, I know from first-hand experience that most far-out projects involving the military don't live up to the hype. For one thing, the military plays fast & loose with commonly used terminology. The word "sentient" actually means something; it shouldn't be used as a vacuous buzzword designed to woo congressional funding.

Maybe they should call it WOPR 2.0?

(Sometimes I just can't help myself with the cultural reference one-liners!)

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