If you've seen the movie Minority Report, you'll probably recognize the term "pre-crime". Set in the future, the storyline revolves around a revolutionary technology, dubbed "pre-crime", that's able to predict and therefore prevent crimes before they even occur. "Pre-criminals" are promptly arrested and thrown into a holding facility so they're no longer able to carry out their ill intent. And now, it seems, the U.S. government is testing out its own pre-crime technology. An internal Department of Homeland Security document recently revealed that the U.S. government is building a prototype screening system that uses various elements such as ethnicity, gender and heart rate to "detect cues indicative of mal-intent". Coined the Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), it's designed to track and monitor body movements, voice pitch changes, fluctuations in speech rhythm and intonation, eye movements, body heat changes and breathing patterns, among other data. Factors like … [Read more...] about Can people be defined by high-tech algorithm?
Future attribute screening technology
The U.S. government's experimental system using algorithms to profile and predict whether a person is likely to commit a crime carries inaccuracy in determining future and potential criminal behavior, psychologists warn, noting that it also intrudes personal privacy and will be difficult to implement in Asia-Pacific. Reports last month unveiled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was testing a prototype screening system that profiled people, based on algorithms, to detect mal-intent through factors such as ethnicity and heart rate. Termed Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), the system is designed to track and monitor various inputs such as body movements, voice pitch changes, body heat changes and breathing patterns. Factors such as occupation, age, blink rate and pupil variation will also be considered. The Homeland Security also suggested that FAST could be used at security checkpoints such as border crossing or large public events and had been tested at an … [Read more...] about ‘Pre-crime’ human profiling system inaccurate, infringes personal privacy
A Homeland Security project initiative is developing a system that will accurately predict and detect crimes, making it possible to prevent them prior to occurrence. This Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), which will use sensor technologies to pick up on behavioral and physiological cues, is being developed to identify "the intent or desire to cause harm...rapidly, reliably and remotely," according to the DHS website. In assessing how likely someone is to commit a crime, FAST will gather information from and monitor things like changes in body movement, body heat, eye movements, breathing patterns, voice pitch, and changes in speech. Internal DHS documents recently obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) via two Freedom of Information Act Requests filed in August reveal that the program is still in its early stages. CNET reports that the program has, however, been tested both in a lab and on DHS employees, in an "undisclosed location in … [Read more...] about Homeland Security technology could predict and detect crimes
"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" began one of the most famous of the classic radio mystery serials. "The Shadow knows!" If so, the Shadow is still the only one who does. Despite decades of advances in biometric technologies and neuroscience, investigators have at best only a rudimentary and untrustworthy ability to find telltale changes in the body or in brain activity that might betray guilt or bad intentions. That doesn't stop the authorities from continuing to look, however. Witness the U.S. government's recent dabbling in Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST). With thermal cameras, microphones and a laser radar that can measure heart rate and perspiration, FAST is designed to surreptitiously scan airport travelers for nervous behaviors, rapid blinking, or any other signs that might indicate intentions to commit violent terrorist acts -- what the system's developers call "malintent." The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged running preliminary tests … [Read more...] about Dishonesty detectors: a criminally flawed technology
By Eric BerridgeThe fact that a show produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is arguably the biggest destination for finding out what's next in business software illustrates that IT as we know it is undergoing an incalculable transformation. What strikes me is that even the most "consumery" technologies highlighted at CES have business value. It's also striking that many of the technologies making headlines at CES are also asserting their presence at the sci-fi heaven known as Comic-Con. With the convergence of social, mobile and cloud-based technologies, we're at a point where innovation is quickly passing from science fiction to your office.Tablets: Once for superheroes, now transforming the workplaceMy first recollection of a "tablet" comes from the the 2004 Pixar superhero flick "The Incredibles." Six years later the iPad hits the shelves, quickly becoming not only a way to access the latest entertainment, but a bonafide work tool. While a relatively recent … [Read more...] about From Comic-Con to CES to your department: Sci-fi technologies shaping IT
At least 22 retailers have been driven into bankruptcy protection during this recession, including RedEnvelope and Eddie Bauer, or gone out of business altogether, like Circuit City. Blockbuster, Virgin Megastores and many more have closed stores. Survivors, suffering deflated profits and slow sales, warn of bleak holidays: The National Retail Federation predicts a 1 percent sales decline for the season compared to last year. Even Wal-Mart feels the slump, with same-store sales down 1 percent in its second quarter--its first such drop in years.Baby, it's cold outside.But smart retailers are going where it's warm: the hot little hands of cellphone--and laptop--toting consumers who want to shop right now, wherever they happen to be sipping their lattes or watching their kids' soccer games. Technology-backed projects to increase revenue include mobile e-commerce, coupons by text message, even storefronts on social networks. As enablers of these projects, CIOs are moving ever closer to the … [Read more...] about Facebook, Mobile Phones and the Future of Shopping
When the first iPhone came out in 2007, as we all know, it created a quite a buzz and a whole lot of excitement - except for one group: the blind. "The blind community was very upset," said Larry Goldberg, the director of the "National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), a research and development group in Boston devoted to improving the accessibility of media and new technologies for people with disabilities. The original iPhone's glass screen, single button and - most importantly - lack of accessibility features, such as screen reader integration, made it all but impossible for visually impaired people to use. (Watch the video interview on YouTube)However, thanks to input from the blind community and NCAM as well as Apple's dedication to making their products accessible, by 2009 the iPhone 3GS had VoiceOver, Apple's screen reading technology, fully integrated and today the iPhone is, "the most popular phone with the blind community," says Goldberg. Apple, he said, "bought in."[ For … [Read more...] about From Julia Child to Mobile Devices: How One Group Cooks Up Accessible Media Technology
Thanks to a handful of emerging technologies, virtual touch-screen keyboards are getting closer to the feel of real electromechanical keyboards. Enhancements such as tactile feedback and surfaces that change to mimic physical keys could eventually redefine the virtual keyboard experience for millions of users of devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and touch-screen PCs.Will these improvements be enough for the virtual keyboard to entirely displace the electromechanical keyboard? Maybe not for folks old enough to have used an IBM Selectric typewriter -- whose keyboard served as the model for early computer keyboards -- but improved virtual keyboards may be just fine with a new generation of users for whom big clunky keyboards are so yesterday.On smartphones, virtual keyboards have largely replaced the more expensive electromechanical keyboards, with a few notable exceptions such as BlackBerries and QWERTY texting phones.On the PC front, we've seen concept laptops with two … [Read more...] about Will touch screens kill the keyboard?
An unnamed homeland security agency has signed a contract with a company that claims it can “reveal” your personality “with a high level of accuracy” just by analyzing your face, be that facial image captured via photo, live-streamed video, or stored in a database. It then sorts people into categories; with some labels as potentially dangerous such as terrorist or pedophile, it is disturbing that some experts believe the science behind it is antiquated, has previously been discredited, and the results are inaccurate.Israeli start-up Faception, a facial personality profiling company, told The Washington Post that “a homeland security agency” has signed a contract to use Faception to help spot terrorists. The “computer vision and machine learning technology” can even be integrated into other facial recognition tech “to provide a full spectrum solution that covers known and anonymous individuals.”Faceception CEO Shai Gilboa … [Read more...] about Faception can allegedly tell if you’re a terrorist just by analyzing your face
It's an exciting time for PC enthusiasts. I can't remember a period when so many existing technologies were being upgraded to the next generation and new technologies were being introduced. Even non-enthusiasts need to know about the changes that are happening to the desktop PC.But knowing when to upgrade your PC to the latest and greatest can be a difficult decision. Should you buy now or wait for the even more advanced technology that has been promised by the likes of Intel, AMD, and others? For power users, and a lot of IT professionals fall into this category, waiting for a specific technology can have a huge impact on their future productivity and ultimate success. I will list 10 PC-based technologies that are either new or soon to be released and leave it to you whether it is "got to have" or "can do without" technology.Note: Release schedules, specifications, and prices are subject to change prior to formal release. Use this information as a guideline only. Extra info: This … [Read more...] about 10 cool technologies to look for in your next PC