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Edited by Christian Lowe | Contact

DARPA: LIFE CATALOG ONLY THE BEGINNING

To Pentagon researchers, capturing and categorizing every aspect of a person's life is only the beginning.

LifeLog -- the controversial Defense Department initiative to track everything about an individual -- is just one step in a larger effort, according to a top Pentagon research director. Personalized digital assistants that can guess our desires should come first. And then, just maybe, we'll see computers that can think for themselves.

Computer scientists have dreamed for decades of building machines with minds of their own. But these hopes have been overwhelmed again and again by the messy, dizzying complexities of the real world.

In recent months, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a series of seemingly disparate programs -- all designed, the agency says, to help computers deal with the complexities of life, so they finally can begin to think.

My Wired News article has more -- including an exclusive interview with Ron Brachman, who heads the DARPA office overseeing projects like LifeLog. There's a separate story on Brachman's latest project, "Real-World Reasoning," designed to get computers to start looking at problems from different angles -- a key artificial intelligence challenge.

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