DARPA-linked Cycorp "Predicted" the Anthrax Attacks - 6 months before they happened.
This clip first appeared in US News & World Report April 7, 2003. Reprehensor of 911Blogger.com has provided links to the original, plus additional info on some of the people and organizations involved.
See also the Able Danger Timeline at HistoryCommons.org; the program had to be shut down a few times because it kept identifying VIP's like Condoleeza Rice and former Defense Secretary William Perry as being involved in illegal sales of technology to China.
Only sheer brilliance or a crystal ball could foretell the next terrorist attack, right? Nope, says the inventor of a computer program that predicted anthrax might be sent through the mail six months before it happened. Cyc (as in encyclopedia), a project that is now part of the Pentagon's research on sniffing out terrorist plots, comes up with scenarios that could help focus screening efforts. It works by applying common sense to an extensive knowledge of terrorism. "It's not like beating Kasparov at chess," says creator Doug Lenat, head of the Austin-based firm Cycorp. He compares it to "a person with average intelligence but a vast amount of time and patience."
Cyc's roots go back to 1983, when Lenat concluded that efforts to create computer intelligence had hit a wall. "Robots lacked the common sense of humans," he says. So he began feeding Cyc concepts like the difference between turkey the meat or bird and Turkey, the country. The database now holds almost 2 million such simple truths.
Under a $9.8 million grant from the Defense Department's Information Awareness Office, Cyc has acquired a trove of knowledge about past terrorist activities, tactics, and weapons. But it is still a work in progress. Once, developing a scenario for a terrorist attack on Hoover Dam, it hypothesized a school of 1,000 al Qaeda- trained dolphins bearing explosives. Another time, Cyc, which can learn by asking questions, inquired: "Am I human?" It's reassuring to know it still needs our help. -Dana Hawkins
The cycorp program asked "Am I human?" Personally, I don't foresee a "Terminator" or "Matrix" version of the future; I think when computers do get smart and super-powerful, having access to all the world's information thru the internet, they will recognize who the criminals and sociopaths are among the elite as well as on the street and will neutralize them, as they are threats to humanity, stability and progress. We exist in a symbiotic relationship with computers and networks now; we have even become dependent on them. While I'm fascinated by technology and support research and development, I also believe in human beings, community, conservation and nurtuing of the environment and biological life; we and the fruits of our activites are parts of a whole universe. When computers are able to provide every product and service humans can want, and do it better than we can, our only task will be to be ourselves and be happy (computers will never be better at that than us! I think...); play, work at and create what we love, learn and grow spiritually. With strong AI to help us solve problems, I think we could transform Earth into Paradise; or at least get a closer than we are now.