The intelligence community this month quietly released an unprecedented, unclassified five-year-roadmap charting the future of data analysis it wants commercial startups like ride-sharing firm Uber to read.
The chart, part of a larger science and technology strategy, is aimed at encouraging unconventional makers like the car service app-developer and traditional tech contractors to help fund answers to oncoming national security problems.
The roadmap is an outgrowth of spring workshops with 40 companies that do classified work and a government analysis of the intelligence community’s science and technology needs.
By syncing private sector research now underway with the Office of the Director of Intelligence’s threat predictions, the right technology will be ready at the right time at the right price, DNI officials say.
The publicly available gap analysis, titled “Enhanced Processing and Management of Data from Disparate Sources,” maps out one of six future growth areas for the spy community. The other graphics are only for the eyes of individuals holding secret security clearances.
So, how might Uber help the director of national intelligence?
“Maybe they’ve got scheduling algorithms that would help us with our logistics problems,” David Honey, DNI director of science and technology, said during a recent interview with Nextgov. “If we can leverage those kinds of tools, maybe we gotta adapt them a little bit, but that certainly beats having to go and pay for those things from scratch.”
The national intelligence program is facing its fourth year of budget cuts.
Powers U.S. spies need that no one is funding yet include, for example, expertise in determining the biases of social media site moderators, geolocation in the presence of encryption, room temperature quantum computing, and immersive virtual world user experience.
Picture: Bull-Doser (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons