It’s With Us

More precisely, it’s with America and will be here sooner than we think.

FAST is the American equivalent of Europe’s ADABTS and it’s just undergone its first round of field tests in NE America. Results analysis is ongoing and there will be further field tests to come as excited researchers lick their lips in anticipation of yet another technological advance furthering the progress of mankind.

FAST = Future Attribute Screening Technology
ADABTS = Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats in crowded Spaces

I first blogged about ADABTS HERE. It works by analysing what they call ‘multimodal signals’ such as body language, facial expressions, speech intonation and so on. It’s nice to see that the Home Office Scientific Development Branch is having a hand in developing ADABTS, presumably so that the UK can be in it but not run by it. However, I’m still not clear whether we’ll be actors, players or stakeholders; maybe the EU should add the word ‘patsies’ to their list of descriptives.

When news of this technology first came to light in 2009 NeoConOpticon carried this quote in a short article:

In response, defence expert Ko Colijn says the alarming tone of Hayes’ report is “a bit exaggerated”. Colijn points out that the EU does not have the authority to create a “well-oiled Orwellian society” even if it wanted to. It will be up to the individual member states to decide what is implemented. “Many projects will fall by the leeway.”

I think we can see that Colijm was unduly casual about the implications: what the EU wants, the EU gets and, as in so many other instances, the UK is either a staunch supporter or a prime mover.

“ADABTS aims to facilitate the protection of EU citizens, property and infrastructure against threats of terrorism, crime, and riots, by the automatic detection of abnormal human behaviour. Current automatic detection systems have limited functionality, struggling to make inferences about the acceptability of human behaviour.”

PS I see that the original file in my post linked to above has gone awol; this happens so often now that it’s becoming quite unremarkable to find info wiped or hidden.

ADABTS .pdf leaflet
More acronyms A 100-page .pdf: “Towards a more secure society and increased industrial competitiveness”
H/t: Activist Post for the heads-up on FAST.

UPDATE: I understand it’s Memorial Day today in America: “In all, since 1775 over 1,316,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives for our country.” It’s a sobering thought when you look around at what’s happening now.


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