DARPA has kicked off a project to fine tune web searches by topical domain rather than subject. By Bob Brewin
Thanks to Bob Brewin for posting the original link on defenseone.com!
[FYI….pardon my citations in this post, I am trying to practice my APA citation-ing (sp?) for better writing]
DARPA’s recent Broad Agency Announcement on the intent of the Memex program, DARPA-BAA-14-21, calls for innovative assistance from industry to fill the gap in current search technology. The announcement is basically a Request For Proposals (RFP) which DARPA will evaluate industry interest and response on potential solutions. Some of the DARPA views on this gap left by current search technology, as specified in the announcement, is that the technology “is limited by a one-size-fits-all approach [which provides] a centralized search [with] limitations in the scope of what gets indexed and the richness of available details ... common practice misses information in the deep web and ignores shared content across pages.” (2014, p.4)
In their own words, the agency’s goals for new software seem to be focused at developing new ideas and practices for “domain-specific web content indexing and search, democratizing the creation of an index and inventing better methods for interacting with and sharing information.” (2014, p. 5)
The intent is to move past the manual method of searching for a match between exact key words located in a centralized index, and towards a future where a search can reach the large volume deep web content such as temporary or unconnected pages or content which has already been aggregated, normalized, or otherwise already impacted when used for analysis.
DARPA has expressed that their intent is not to develop a new and invasive technology for monitoring individual behavior of citizens. DARPA’s specific comment in the announcement is as follows, “The Memex program is specifically not interested in proposals for the following: attributing anonymous services, deanonymizing or attributing identity to servers or IP addresses, or gaining access to information which is not intended to be publicly available.” (2014, 5)
I think the intent is to find a better way of doing what we already do on the internet, which is accessing a vast amount of knowledge in a simple manner and with an expectation for finding a relevant result to our questions. I, for one, can believe their intent is genuine and the desire to find new ways of spying on citizens is not present here. After all, how else are we going to be able to have the AI-like interfaces (like JARVIS from Marvel’s series of Iron Man movies or the ship’s computer from the Star Trek the Next Generation television shows)? If we hope to verbally interface through unstructured or colloquial styles as we see in our favorite sci-fi shows, we need to give our tech some type of logic to get the answers we need.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (2014) Broad Agency Announcement: Memex (DARPA Funding Opportunity No. DARPA-BAA-14-21). Retrieved on February 11, 2014 from URL: http://go.usa.gov/BBc5