Battleland

Better Late Than Never Dept.

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It’s fitting that as Army Maj. Nidal Hasan faces his first major pre-trial hearing today, the Pentagon is seeking a way to prevent future soldiers from killing their own.

“Each time we see an incident like a soldier in good mental health becoming homicidal or suicidal, or an innocent insider becoming malicious, we wonder why we didn’t see it coming,” the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says. “When we look through the evidence after the fact, we often find a trail – sometimes even an `obvious’ one. The question is can we pick up the trail before the fact giving us time to intervene and prevent an incident?”

By poring through terra-bytes of data looking for clues highlighting unusual behavior, the Pentagon’s goal is to tease out evil-doers before they do evil, Wired’s Danger Room blog reports. DARPA is holding an “industry day” at the wonderfully-named Systems Planning Corp. a couple of subway stops from the Pentagon, to flesh out the possibilities. No charge for attendees, and lunch will be served.

If the Pentagon can perfect this “Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS)” technology, just consider the future applications. If it works on wayward soldiers, maybe it’ll work on wayward countries — and nip conflicts in the bud. If it can predict losers, it can predict winners. The office NCAA pool may never be the same.

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