Will Trump support HARPA the health-care AI equivalent of DARPA?

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As J.P. Morgan put it, “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”

Such is the case with the potential rolling out of new gov backed high tech.
There is the benevolent PR selling point behind which are concerns about to what real use such will be put, in the near or distant future.


As J.P. Morgan put it, “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”

Such is the case with the potential rolling out of new gov backed high tech.
There is the benevolent PR selling point behind which are concerns about to what real use such will be put, in the near or distant future.

The PR front is “a way to identify early signs of changes in people with mental illness that could lead to violent behavior” premised upon “gun control following recent mass shootings…volunteer data to identify ‘neurobehavioral signs’ of ‘someone headed toward a violent explosive act’…it would not collect sensitive health data about individuals without their permission”—about this last part, I will say “yeah, right”: can you say “Snowden”?

We are told that “there are plenty of researchers and mental health experts who believe that mental health and gun violence aren’t necessarily linked.
Mental illness can sometimes be a factor in such violent acts…no more than a quarter of mass shooters have a diagnosed mental illness.”

Thus, the call is to “establish a new agency called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency or HARPA…The HARPA proposal was initially pitched as a project to improve the mortality rate of pancreatic cancer through innovative research to better detect and cure diseases.”

“HARPA would be modeled on DARPA” the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which is “the research arm of the Pentagon and collaborates with other federal agencies, the private sector and academia.
The concept was advanced by the Suzanne Wright Foundation and first discussed by officials on the Domestic Policy Council and senior White House staffers in June 2017.”

DARPA as a “Biological Technologies Office” and “HARPA is the health-care equivalent of DARPA.”

It is “proposed that HARPA include a ‘Safe Home’ — ‘Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes’ — project.”

But how so? The goal is “to develop a ‘sensor suite’ using advanced artificial intelligence to try to identify changes in mental status that could make an individual more prone to violent behavior. The research would ultimately be opened to the public…breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence…A multi-modality solution, along with real-time data analytics, is needed to achieve such an accurate diagnosis.”

And what are these “breakthrough technologies”: “a number of widely used technologies it suggests could be employed to help collect data, including Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home. The document also mentions ‘powerful tools’ collected by health-care provides like fMRIs, tractography and image analysis.”

So the tech itself are not the breakthrough technologies, the breakthrough is more along the lines of that “Advanced analytical tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning are rapidly improving and must be applied to the data.”

So, basically, tech zombies that did not need Big Brother to kick down their door because they invited him in are all set to have every single aspect of their lives examined by well, whoever codes the AI—from your locations to your heart rate, from your posting of comments to your very neuro-biology and much, much more.

Also, in our micro-offence culture, how long before something new is considered a crime and you can be AI’d into trouble. There is also the aspect of this turning into, if not being for premise for pre-crime since your bio-feedback, location, etc. could be said to predict that which you intended to do.

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Source: Jacqueline Alemany, “White House considers new project seeking links between mental health and violent behavior,” Washington Post, August 22, 2019 AD

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