Homeland Security Develops a ‘Pre-Crime’ Detecting Machine
By Kevin Lee
PCWorldOct 10, 2011 9:50 am PDT
Here at GeekTech, we glee over almost anything that gets us a little closer to a Minority Report-esque technology. But there’s also the whole pseudo-utopia created by pre-crime detection by psychics. Well, it turns out we’re pretty close to that aspect too, but instead of precogs the Government is using technology.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research center in Washington, D.C., recently filed two Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain information about a new sensor array developed by the Department of Homeland Security that can detect “mal-intent”. The system revealed in the internal documents is known as Future Attribute Screening Technology or FAST.
FAST determines if a person intends to do harm by using a mal-intent algorithm that uses data from sensors that monitor a person’s physiological and behavioral changes. FAST is designed to detect anything from changes in body movement, body heat, eye movements, breathing patterns, voice pitch, and your prosody (the tone and rhythm in which you speak).
As of now the FAST has only been tested in lab and at least one undisclosed location in the northeast, and the system is proven to be up to 81 percent classification accurate in a laboratory setting. When DHS has deployed FAST in field tests, it’s has only been used to help security guards pick out and interview suspects, so final judicial judgment won’t be delivered by a robot…just yet.