Archive for February, 2010

Quest Material for Feb 26th Meeting

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

QUEST Discussion Topics Feb 26th:

1.)   We want to remind the QUEST team of the topics we want to discuss in our keynote presentation at the upcoming International Conference on Information Warfare.  The premise of the talk is that the diverse set of topics at the conference can combined at an appropriate level of abstraction where they are all ‘wicked’ problems.  What makes these problems ‘wicked’ is the fact that they all are associated with responding to continually adapting challenges.  This level of abstraction allows us then to discuss the commonality with other challenges associated with ‘adaptable foes’ like irregular warfare.  We conclude the presentation with a discussion on a common approach to responding to ‘wicked’ problems – QUEST (Qualia Exploitation of Sensor Technology).

2.)  The second topic is a couple of comments on the recent publication by our colleagues from Boston University – Self Supervised ARTMAP.  Prof Carpenter’s article on self-supervised ARTMAP appeared in this month’s issue of ‘Neural Networks’ – vol 23 (2010) pg 265-282. Here is a link to a demo of the process (  The ideas we want to emphasize in this discussion are the potential application of the approach to Capt Dube’s work on adaptable malware detection.  He is addressing the issues associated with being able to not only have a system that can capture those signatures that we know are threats but also adapt based on the experiences of ongoing attacks.  The second reason we are interested in the Carpenter work is as an approach to extract ‘gists’ from the streaming sensory data.

3.)  This we hope leads us to a discussion on qualia based representations.  We want to re-visit ideas on ‘types of qualia’ and types of links. 

4.)  Then we want to take that material and translate it to a couple of driver problems.  We will re-present the Evernote ideas and then introduce ideas of mining ideas in the blogosphere and Twitter.  In the discussion on mining blog data we want to discuss ‘trust’.  This directly relates to the work of Tim Lacey on security and quality of service in ad-hoc networks.

5.)  Taking these driver problems we want to talk about the qualia in each driver application and the implication of changing the representation to have those characteristics we see in the subjective representation of qualia. 

6.)  Lastly this takes us to the discussion of how we will represent these qualia in a digital computer – GISTs and LINKs.  We want to re-visit our ideas about GISTs.

Questions of the Week

We’re going to try to introduce a new section into the weekly QUEST calls for any queries that may come up during the week.  If anyone has any items of interest that they are curious about or struggling to get some resolution, feel free to submit to us and in the spirit of the new social searches we will try to exploit our collective wisdom to get an answer.  Here are two examples for this week.

1.)  After reviewing a recent news story about drone operators who control their machines, in action in Afghanistan, from bases in the States close to their homes, Dr. Kabrisky asks the question ‘I wonder if one difference between remote killing and actual combat where you can get killed too, is the liklihood of PTSD. Are there any data about PTSD in drone operators?’  We distributed this question to some RH colleagues and Dr. Kevin Gluck was nice enough to pursue and produce an answer…

Dr. Gluck, There have been no cases of combat related PTSD in Creech AFB RPA aircrew. There are seven cases of PTSD at Creech related to previous combat exposure in another AFSC or civilian trauma outside of work in Vegas (domestic violence and rape). There are increased stress diagnosis associated with shift work and continuous surge operations.  There were at least eight fatigue related roll-over accidents associated with the commute to work at Creech last year. There are some short term stress issues deployment of lethal force that are currently being investigated.  I should have information from that study in the next month.

Attached is a summary of the studies with which I have been involved and some related information.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Yogi LtCol Roscoe Van Camp

Flight Surgeon, 15 Reconnaissance Squadron Bld 1032, Creech AFB, NV 89018

Another article that we came across follows up on this as well.

2.) The following is an ongoing mission that has been circulating for quite some time amongst the QUEST group.  Dr. Kabrisky has related to us a memory of a distinct photograph that he came across in a magazine some years ago, and is interested in trying to track it down.  He believes that he saw it in Life Magazine, the picture is of a man (perhaps a Bedouin), reclining in a tent watching a tv.  The man’s camel is resting it’s head in the man’s lap.  Matt recalls the picture covering a two page spread.  Anyone willing to try to their luck can query him for more details, we all eagerly look forward to seeing the original picture and seeing how it matches up with our imagined view of it.

Please follow the link below to view the complete news stories for this week.

QUEST call for Feb 26th (combined)


Full ICIW slides – now cleared

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks to Jaime, these slides have now made it through the clearance process and have been approved for public release.

ICIW slides – no backups

Self-supervised ARTMAP material from Gail Carpenter

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Airborne laser successful in lethal intercept experiment

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Missile Defense Agency officials demonstrated the potential use of directed energy to defend against ballistic missiles when the Airborne Laser Testbed successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile Feb. 11 over the Pacific Ocean…serves as a proof-of-concept demonstration for directed energy technology… At 8:44 p.m. PST Feb. 11, a short-range threat-representative ballistic missile was launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform. Within seconds, the Airborne Laser Testbed used onboard sensors to detect the boosting missile and used a low-energy laser to track the target. The Airborne Laser Testbed then fired a second low-energy laser to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbance. Finally, the Airborne Laser Testbed fired its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure. The entire engagement occurred within two minutes of the target missile launch, while its rocket motors were still thrusting… first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform

Categories: General Tech, War

Google Acquires Social Search Engine Aardvark

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

search giant is aggressively pursuing social features… Aardvark, an interesting search startup that integrates social interaction and artificial intelligence… Aardvark uses artificial intelligence to find the right people to answer a user’s query. It then trusts those people to provide the desired information and refine the query as needed… found it invaluable for answering questions that benefit from human guidance or opinion. It’s a great place, for example, to ask “How do I get started making electronic music?” or “What’s a mind-blowing novel of first contact?”… Aardvark works well partly due to close integration with Facebook, and Google doesn’t seem to be on the social networking company’s, ahem, friends list… early negative reactions to the automatically generated social networks for Google’s new product Buzz.

U.S. Military to Set Up New Training Centers Inside Pakistan

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

U.S. military is planning to set up new training centers inside Pakistan… where American special operations trainers would work with Pakistani forces close to the Afghan border battle zone… would supplement two already operating in Pakistan, and they would be used to accelerate and expand the training of Pakistani forces considered key to rooting out Al Qaeda leaders hiding along the mountainous border… will require an increase in the more than 100 U.S. special operations forces in Pakistan… the small but growing numbers of American troops inside Pakistan have also become targets. Last week, three U.S. special operations soldiers participating in that low-profile program were killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb… Combat operations are expected to escalate as the weather improves

Categories: War

Marjah collected stories/updates

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

U.S., Afghan and NATO Forces Begin Offensive Against Taliban –,2933,585681,00.html

Marjah will take a month –,3566,585803,00.html

Marjah Bazaar –,3566,585881,00.html

Civilian deaths in Marjah –

Taliban Fighters Step Up Attacks on U.S., Afghan Troops in Marjah,2933,585888,00.html

Categories: War