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SNS: Pattern Recognition Interview at the NGA

SNS: Pattern Recognition Interview at the NGA


In This Issue
Week of 8/21/2017
Vol. 22 Issue 30

SNS: Pattern Recognition Interview at the NGA

  • About the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency


Publisher’s Note:
From my upcoming book, The Pattern Future: Finding the World’s Great Secrets and Predicting the Future Using Pattern Discovery (FiReBooks, Sept. 2017):

[A couple of years ago], I was asked to give a keynote talk to the highly secretive National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), at its annual Global Research and Development (GRAND) meeting. (The NGA building is said to be the second-largest in the DC area, right after the Pentagon, yet few know of the NGA’s existence.)


The people of the NGA are almost certainly the world’s best experts at “constrained pattern recognition” – that is, seeing patterns in a well-defined environment. Imagine, for example, assessing battlefield damage or looking for submarines.


For my talk, I had been asked to address the use of pattern recognition in an unconstrained environment. Although I can’t share the contents of that talk, I am allowed to share an interview I did with the NGA’s radio crew afterward, including a discussion of “patterns made and broken.”

The following interview turned out to be the first in what the NGA now calls the “Geointeresting” radio program. (It turns out that SNS member Vint Cerf was its most recent interviewee, #23 in this series.) Perhaps our members, too, will find the same value in it as the NGA. – mra.


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