“Mind’s Eye”: DARPA’s New Thinking Camera Will Transform the World of Surveillance

Kingscollegepinkfull_2 Darpa announced this week that it’s pursuing a program to endow cameras with “visual intelligence"-the ability to process information from visual cues, contextualize its significance, and learn what other visual data is necessary to answer some pre-existing question.

Darpa’s program, called Mind’s Eye, could change the world of surveillance as we know it.


Following on a March conference for potential contractors, Darpa has given 12 university based research teams contracts to build the thinking cameras. The initial plan is to mount them on drones for ground surveillance. The crucial distinction between Mind’s Eye and every surveillance system the military whether they’re the Reaper-mounted Gorgon Stare, with its two-mile-plus field of vision, or the 1.8 gigapixel ARGUS-IS camera for Special Operations helicopters all require a crucial element: humans.

“Star[ing] at Death TV for hours on end trying to find the single target or see something move” is just “a waste of manpower,” Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, recently told an intelligence conference accordinmg to wired.com.

Darpa envisions its research teams making “novel contributions in visual event learning, new spatiotemporal representations, machine-generated envisionment, visual inspection and grounding of visual concepts" that will spot “operationally significant activity and report on that activity so warfighters can focus on important events in a timely manner.” I

Darpa  wants to first mount the thinking cameras on robo-scouts like the Army’s Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle, not aboard an airborne drone.

The Daily Galaxy via wired.com

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