Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is the New DARPA Search Engine for Good-or for Mischief?

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency logo

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has posted a proposal and descriptions of a new project called Memex. According to the RRP the project "envisions a new paradigm, where one can quickly and thoroughly organize a subset of the Internet relevant to one's interests." That's being translated as a deeper dive into content than existing search engines.

Media Post says that the search engine will initially be used to organize content from many platforms about human trafficking. The aim is to uncover trafficking strategies and presumably human traffickers. The objective is clearly a social good.

What about the underlying technology? How else can it be used? The name apparently was taken from the classic article by Vannevar Bush in which he argues for using the collective wisdom of the ages.

How do we feel about more 'big data' in the hands of government?

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