The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) routinely handles large amounts of data. Their mandate it is "keeping the United States safe," and that covers many fronts. This includes everything that has to do with potential threats to the nation, ranging from border security to cybersecurity, so "big data" would be an underestimate. The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology for National Security was inevitable.
Dr. Patrick CarrickThe former chief scientist of the Department of Science and Technology (S & T) Directorate of National Security, described it this way: "Eventually, the data becomes so big that nobody can understand or use it effectively, automated techniques are required to do that." .
Douglas Maughan described the role of AI in his testimony during a supervisory hearing while he was Director of the Cyber Security Division of the Advanced Security Research Projects Agency. He said:
AI's technology gives us more and more new knowledge and informs our actions. Powered by sensors, data digitization and increasing connectivity, AI filters, associates, prioritizes, classifies, measures and predicts results, allowing the federal government to make more informed and data-based decisions.
However, AI for Homeland Security also has its drawbacks. The widespread use of AI has two large publics worries: data privacy and the susceptibility of malicious manipulation and hacks. Some people fear that in the rush to implement AI and ML solutions for urgent problems and fierce competition for government money, the accuracy and security of these systems may not be as high as they should be. This could cause serious problems, given that National Security has access to sensitive personal information about the American public.
However, National Security has taken steps to integrate AI into its various operations, initiated and supervised mainly by S T. Some of the technologies described below successfully participated in the Silicon Valley Innovations Program (SVIP), whose idea is to find individuals, organizations and companies that can help the Department of Homeland Security and its various wings catch up with the latest technology.
Among the concerns under National Security scheduled to receive significant improvements in its operations with AI and ML technology, include:
- Border security
- Emergency response
- Prevention of domestic terrorism
We begin our AI analysis at the Department of Homeland Security with AI for border security and the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP):
DHS conducts border security under the CBP, the larger law enforcement agency in the United States. According to its website, the CBO is responsible for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US. UU While it facilitates travel and legal international trade … it adopts a comprehensive approach to the management and control of borders, combining customs, immigration, border security and agricultural protection in a coordinated and supportive activity ".
the border security mission of CBP is "[p]"Turning our borders from the illegal movement of arms, drugs, contraband and people, while promoting trade and legal travel, is essential for national security, economic prosperity and national sovereignty."
In other words, CBP has to monitor everything that happens along the country's borders on land, air and sea. Look for suspicious people and activities and, at the same time, allow "trusted travelers" to pass quickly. With 328 ports of entry in the United States and almost one million The people who go through them every day, this is a great job.
To manage this workload, CBP commissioned S & T to look for companies with technology to increase the efficiency of border security. They found Three through SVIP So far, they managed to move on to Phase 2 (Prototype pilot demonstration-demo), Phase 3 (Pilot test prototype in operation) and Phase 4 (Test in various operating scenarios).
One of these is the radar technology company. Echodyne, which caught S & T's attention for the first time in 2016 with its Metamaterial Scanning Array (MESA) radar. This compact and lightweight radar system uses significantly less energy, making it a portable way to scan large areas. The use of MESA radar capabilities to detect and point out objects of interest along with AI-enabled software can greatly improve the situational awareness of CBP along the US borders. UU
Below is a 3: 18 minute video that shows how the MESA radar connected to an unmanned aircraft works:
Currently, CBP is tests The effectiveness of the MESA radar when using them as the main component for the location and detection in autonomous surveillance towers in the sectors of San Diego.
But nevertheless, Tamr Actually, it was the first company under the SVIP to have a project ready to operate. According to a case study, its mandate was "to improve the identification of the entity and the comparison algorithms for GTAS" or the Global travel evaluation system. This is an open source, open source, web-based application hosted on GitHub, designed to evaluate travelers efficiently using the Advanced Passenger Information (API) and the Passenger Name Record (PNR) standard .
Below is an illustration of how the GTAS process works:
Tamr provided CBP with improved machine learning software to analyze the API / PNR data available in the GTAS to resolve the identification of the entity and the comparison at the security and border control points. The idea is to increase the speed at which the GTAS can confirm the identity of a "trusted traveler" or get a "hit" on a person of interest.
The GTAS will use the specific data routinely provided by travelers at various points in the process. These include:
- Biographical information, including name, sex, date of birth, citizenship, country of residence, expiration of the document and date of reservation
- Travel data, such as passenger numbers, frequent flyer or loyalty program information, seat selection, baggage details and boarding / disembarking information
- Flight information, includes carriers, routes and travel dates.
In our interview with the communications consultant Tamr David templeton, he explained, "the system generates odds of coincidence from 0 to 1 that human managers can use to make informed decisions." He also states that the software helps GTAS to make a match in less than five seconds. Currently, the software has full integration in the GTAS application, ready for use by any national state.
Another possible collaborator of the GTAS application is the company AI. DataRobot with his automated machine learning (AML). The software can improve the speed at which GTAS users can generate predictive risk models for incoming travelers.
Technical Director of SVIP Anil john declared in a interview With NextGov.com, AML could accelerate the process and facilitate the development and comparison of risk models for those who are not data scientists and discover which ones generate the most accurate predictions.
The CBP is testing the effectiveness of the prototype to facilitate travel and safe trade before integrating it into the GTAS. Meanwhile, DataRobot will work on a working model as part of Phase 2 of the SVIP.
Below are two videos that explain how the AML works:
In another sense, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been executing its own competition to find automated ways to detect passengers forbidden objects and possible threats quickly and accurately. Part of Apex Screening at speed (SaS), the $ 500K jackpot was for Jeremy Walthers of DataLab USA. He used a group of deep learning models designed to analyze images from multiple perspectives.
Below is an illustration of where DHS expects to take the SaS program:
DHS is also studying the detection of vehicles at the US border. UU And Mexico using facial recognition technology driven by AI. to much critics of the defenders of civil liberty and privacy. He planned a pilot program for the Vehicle Face System at the Anzalduas crossing, which captures the faces of the drivers that cross the border and compares them with a database.
Working with commercial artificial intelligence companies seems to work in general for DHS, so it has begun to collaborate with other organizations. The S & T recently formed a association and its counterpart in neighboring Canada to address another aspect of national security: the emergency response.
The initiative, called the Apex First Generation First Response Program (NGFR), will specifically analyze how to ensure better connectivity, protection and knowledge of the situation of first responders to emergencies and crises in both countries. First Responders and Interim Director Detection John Merrill He said that the United States and Canada have similar requirements, noting that:
By jointly determining the research and development priorities between the two countries, we can achieve our goal more quickly and efficiently, eliminating duplication of efforts and optimizing funding.
In addition to conducting workshops and sharing best practices in response to emergencies, the NGFR will conduct field experiments using state-of-the-art IA-based technology. Assistant for the comprehension of data through reasoning, extraction and synthesis (AUDREY) system. Developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the acronym is somewhat exaggerated, but AUDREY could help early responders review the data to improve situational awareness. This will allow them to communicate better and make faster and better decisions in emergencies. The participants are configured to carry out the experiment in Hastings County, Ontario for a period of two years.
Below is a 5-minute video that demonstrates AUDREY's capabilities:
Prevention of domestic terrorism
The external threat is nothing compared to the internal threat. Homeland Security has the unenviable and often controversial task of guaranteeing the safety and protection of people and infrastructures within the borders of the United States.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 in the heart of the United States have stimulated aggressive changes In the policies and practices of the nation to protect against terrorist attacks. It turned out in the DHS training and the expansion of the powers of other federal agencies in efforts to avoid repeated performance. The public initially supported these reformsAlthough the effects of such strict measures have already begun to affect its citizens.
Despite the changes, has been at least six attacks by terrorists suspected or confirmed until 2017. National Security Policy Analyst David Inserra He said: "However, as we moved forward to increase our security, the terrorists were thinking of new ways to attack our way of life."
DHS is doing everything possible to do it. Have recently approved The purchase and use of the Cognito platform developed by the company AI. Vectra, which specializes in mitigating cyber attacks, under its Continuous Diagnosis and Mitigation Program (CDM). This will allow state and local government agencies, as well as 66 federal agencies, to continually monitor cybersecurity risks for their networks and IT systems.
Uses vectra AI in its Cognitive platform Recognize suspicious behavior patterns as they occur, allowing you to alert human operators to take immediate and necessary action. Below is a 2-minute video on the capabilities of the Cognito platform in cybersecurity:
Obviously, ensuring the security of computer and network systems is important, but often the threat is much more physical. This is where DHS is attacked by the public.
The pilot test of facial recognition software There has already been some debate in the White House. However, one more controversial movement for National Security is to provide the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with access to registration records of the database of Solutions for vigilantes. This could allow ICE to track vehicles in real time, increasing fear of eruption of deportations Of individuals for political reasons.
While large artificial intelligence companies are ready to provide the technology to "read" license plates, it is uncertain what the agency is using. Vigilante has License plate recognition Software, and the company explains how it works with this 3-minute video:
The DHS has their hands full. It has to keep up with the ever-changing demands to keep the US borders secure. UU And the security of American citizens, while maintaining a delicate balance between security and civil liberties. Advanced artificial intelligence technology could be valuable for national security, but also inspire fear and doubt among American civilians.
It can not be denied that AI for National Security is already happening, and is making great strides to prepare the United States for most of the threats to its land and its people. The trick is to discover to what extent the DHS should take AI and other advanced technology that may invade civil liberties in the name of public safety.
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