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CIA predicted data mining and big data back in 1962


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CIA predicted data mining and big data back in 1962

Using boring stats to predict political trends

14 Mar 2013 16:03 | by Nermin Hajdarbegovic


Last week the CIA published a 1962 internal document that seems to show it was contemplating some very advanced data techniques half a century ago. Titled “some Far-Out Thoughts on Computers” the document was authored by one Orrin Clotworthy, an intelligence analyst and self described “computer hobbyist”. Apparently that’s what geeks called themselves back in the early sixties.

In his report Clothworthy argued that data analytics and computer modelling could be used to predict the future, which must have sounded like a sci-fi concept back in his day. He pointed out that predicting human behaviour with real confidence was still years away, and he was right. Still though, he offered some rather interesting and amusing examples.

“The Air Force has been experimenting for years with a mock-up of the strategic air battle, using a computer to simulate the clash between a surprise intercontinental air and space assault force and the defensive and counter-strike resources of this country. … While these games are great value as instructional aides, they are far more than that,” he wrote. “With the computer alternate strategies are subjected to realistic tests, and aerospace doctrine emerges. And the time is not too remote when fresh intelligence on a potential enemy’s capabilities and order of battle, fed into a computer as it is received, will turn out constantly changing designs for an optimum counter-strategy.”

Needless to say, such simulations played a crucial role in developing not only tactical doctrine, but the US strategic posture (More...)

Read the rest at: http://news.techeye.net/business/cia-predicted-data-mining-and-big-data-back-in-1962


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