The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people | Ars Technica UK
“Ridiculously optimistic” machine learning algorithm is “completely bullshit,” says expert.
In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA proclaimed that “we kill people based on metadata.” Now, a new examination of previously published Snowden documents suggests that many of those people may have been innocent.
(...) The highest scoring selector who travelled to Peshawar and Lahore is “PROB AHMED ZAIDAN”, Al-Jazeera’s long-time bureau chief in Islamabad.
As The Intercept reported, Zaidan frequently travels to regions with known terrorist activity in order to interview insurgents and report the news. But rather than questioning the machine learning that produced such a bizarre result, the NSA engineers behind the algorithm instead trumpeted Zaidan as an example of a SKYNET success in their in-house presentation, including a slide that labelled Zaidan as a “MEMBER OF AL-QA’IDA.”