When Will a Robot Start Briefing the President?


A former CIA data analyst said he believes that within the decade, an algorithm, rather than a human, will pen at least a rough draft of the President's Daily Brief (PDB), one of the most sensitive national security documents on the planet.

Drawn from classified and open source information, the PDB is concise telling of the most urgent national security matters of the day.

The PDB became an Oval Office staple back in the 1940s and always has been compiled by the nation's top government experts. But the U.S. intelligence community is increasingly asking if computer code might do a better job at intelligence analysis, for which the PDB is a pinnacle product.

"When I look at where machine learning, deep learning algorithms are, we’re finally getting to the point of having the computational power to do some really amazing things," Dennis Gleeson, a former director of strategy in the CIA’s Directorate of Analysis, told RealClearLife.

Deep learning algorithms have already tried their hand at distinctly human endeavors, and Gleeson imagines the ever-evolving technology may one day be able interpret the unending stream of data coming in from all over a complex and dangerous world almost as well as its highly-trained human counter-parts.

Algorithms still have to overcome some pretty serious obstacles in reading "unstructured data" like news reports, YouTube videos or emoji-laden tweetstorms, Gleeson said. But it's getting better every day and that "one day" for computer code to write the PDB may be closer than you think -- "five to 10" years for a rough draft version that would then be handed off to humans to smooth out in Gleeson's estimation.

Read more over at RealClearLife

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