NPR interviewed Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman on the use of big data for national security. In the interview, Gary Shiffman addressed the concerns about the use of algorithms and machine learning for identifying threats to the United States, explaining that the technology is focused on enhancing human decision-making and not turning critical choices over to some AI. Current U.S. policy does not permit robots or artificial intelligence to make final decisions about important national security issues, and nor is technology at the point where it can make autonomous decisions of this scale. Nonetheless, U.S. security agencies are tasked with protecting the country from an ever-increasing number of threats on a daily basis without a commensurate growth in personnel to analyze and vet the data generated. Due to labor limitations, mistakes are likely, and the public's tolerance for errors is low. Instead, Gary Shiffman argues that people should focus on how "technology improves everyday," and how the U.S. government can take advantage of these improvements to empower individuals to make better decisions.
You can hear the full interview here.