Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone - Issue #98: Artificial Intelligence, Drone Swarms and link between Croatians and Saraswati

Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone - Issue #98: Artificial Intelligence, Drone Swarms and link between Croatians and Saraswati

From the infinite consciousness, we pick up a minuscule piece of information dust and rearrange it as per tradition or in our quirky ways and call ourselves learned, creative or wise. In the cosmic scheme of things, what is re-arranging is a minuscule speck of information.

That rearrangement of information we are now using to power the machines and make them ‘intelligent’ by enabling them to rearrange their own specks.

And, thus is born artificial intelligence.

Rearrangement of the speck of a speck.

How spectacular is that?

And, when we get our hands on something powerful, in our context, we first use it to control and kill.

And, that is exactly where we are going yet again.

The surveillance power and ability and detached, autonomous killing machines are now becoming a reality. Someone sitting in one room on a distant mountain or a cave can devastate an entire city with precision as he chooses the sequence of who goes first. With that specificity.

We are looking at a very scary set of technologies and even more dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

All powered by the speck of a speck sitting on yet another speck. With cosmic ambitions no less.

Let’s understand our predicament in more detail.

“I’m not frightened by the advent of intelligent machines. It’s the sarcastic ones that worry me.”― Quentin R. Bufogle, THE CONCUBINE OF MARS

killer robots and artificial intelligence: future of warfare

The world is now ready for autonomous weapon systems that can be deployed without any harm to the defence personnel. These are called - Lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS). Here is a quote from a story shared by Vox last year:

“Technologically, autonomous weapons are easier than self-driving cars,” Stuart Russell, a computer science professor at UC Berkeley and leading AI researcher, told me. “People who work in the related technologies think it’d be relatively easy to put together a very effective weapon in less than two years.” (Source)

As we know self-driving cars are now a reality, albeit at a small level. The AI systems are already writing stories and creating fake faces. IN context of the weapons they are making instantaneous tactical decisions in online war games.

the machine: smile, you and your future are on camera

A fascinating, troubling, and informative series came on Netflix called “Person of Interest.” It was a story of how US intelligence had created a system called “the machine”.

This system had access to all the CCTV cameras and also could access various private cameras with a powerful backend algorithm based on artificial intelligence that could analyze and predict the behavior and actions of people in almost real-time. It could predict what a person might do in the coming months and days. Could a person commit a terror attack? A big crime?

Those cases which were insignificant (not major crimes) were left aside. These were picked up by the protagonist to resolve or save lives. Here is the Season 1 trailer.

Person of Interest: Season 1 Trailer

Is this thing a reality?

Well, as it stands - it may already be or very close to being one.

The National Security Agency is in the process of constructing a $2 billion data processing and spy center in remote Bluffdale, Utah, according to a recent report. When completed next year, the one-million-square-foot facility will be used to intercept, store, and analyze everything from private e-mails and cellphone calls to Web searches and parking tickets. The no-longer secret project — first exposed by the tech magazine Wired in March — is an apparent realization of the “Total Information Awareness” project proposed by the Bush White House in the months following 9/11. (Source)

Let us look at some of the similar systems being created already:

Spatio-Cultural Abductive Reasoning Engine or SCARE - is developed at the United States Military Academy, West Point by their computer scientists. Its purpose -

to predict the behavior of a notoriously difficult to anticipate group: guerrilla armies.

They rely on analyses they have done of the behavior of guerrilla-terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan to inform their predictions.

For example, when trying to determine where guerrillas plant bombs, SCARE creates models based on previous bombing sites, topographical and street map data, as well as the ethnic, linguistic, and attitudinal data of the people in the region. Today, SCARE can predict a munitions dump within about 700 meters, and project leader Major Paulo Shakarian is upgrading the system to include phone traffic data. (Source)

RiftLand - It is a modeling system being developed by US Navy. The program lead is computer science professor Claudio Cioffi-Revilla at George Mason University.

Using data from charitable organizations, academic groups, and governments, RiftLand seeks to bring clarity to the complexities of the region.

These are the areas where governments do not drive all the major changes - varied actors and informal organizations do. This modeling, for now, is focused on the East Africa region, specifically around the Great Rift Valley.

As an aside, the US Government under George Bush put in action a plan where the US Government worked with the evangelists to create a mechanism of deep penetration within different countries. The project that came out from this initiative was called the “Joshua Project”.

In a major expose, Tehelka had written an article called “Preparing for the Harvest”. It is worth a read. And, I would recommend you download it from the link shared here.

They wrote:

Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope, and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated, and strategized religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001.

The Joshua project’s information gathering was strongly helped by the PIN Code logic in India.

The 6-digit PIN code introduced in August 1972, identifies and locates every departmental delivery office. The first digit represents the zone, the second the sub-zone, the third digit shows the postal sorting district, the fourth digit indicates the mail route and the last two digits indicate the specific post office of destination in that zone.

Just check the kind of data Joshua Project on India gathers and even shares online. What they have gathered but not shared publicly is anyone’s guess.

There are other systems as well. And these analyze blogs, tweets, Facebook, news media, and other websites to measure the social situation in different societies. Government and politicians are using this data to “predict the likelihood of protests and demonstrations” and of course, many other things.

  • MIT’s Condor
  • Aptima’s Epidemiological Modelling of the Evolution of MEssages (E-MEME)
  • Lockheed Martin’s Worldwide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (W-ICEWS)

Any bets on if they are using it to analyze and penetrate non-US societies?

And how much do you think Joshua Project type initiatives are helping the US government analyze the Indian society by PIN code and predict changes and indeed effect and control them?

This is a question that we need to ask ourselves.

China's surveillance machine

Meanwhile, China is also on the Artificial Intelligence/Data Analyses bandwagon. In fact, it might be years ahead of the US already.

It has been using AI to track the Chinese population, with technologies including facial recognition. In fact, they are going beyond just the CCTV cameras. They are also using drones. Like they did for identifying folks not wearing masks during Coronavirus.

In fact, one of the voice-computing company called iFlytek has built smart chat assistants which are loved by the users. Now, its tech is not only for the users, but it also helped the government to “listen in” and track and control people.

How a Chinese AI Giant Made Chatting—and Surveillance—Easy | WIRED

Alexa can tell you the weather. Siri knows a few jokes. In China, voice-computing company iFlytek built similar smart assistants beloved by users. But its tech is also helping the government listen in.

autonomous deadly drone swarms

Meanwhile, another kind of weaponry is coming about - the drone swarms. Swarms of Drones that work in a coordinated manner using AI and robotics to destroy the target.

Check out this scene from the movie - “Angel Has Fallen.”

Angel Has Fallen || Drones Attack Scene in HD

US has been working on on a Cluster UAS Smart Munition for Missile Deployment which does just that.

Kallenborn, an expert in unmanned systems and WMD, describes one type of swarm that he calls an Armed, Fully-Autonomous Drone Swarm, or AFADS. Once unleashed an AFADS will locate, identify, and attack targets without human intervention.

The Cluster UAS Smart Munition for Missile Deployment is a type of AFADS.

The Indian drone swarms

India also has been working on its own technology around this. The drones are called Alpha-S.

These swarms of unmanned Indian-made drones could, for example, enter enemy airspace, fly autonomously to their target and use their advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to seek out and launch coordinated attacks on targets.

Swarms Of Indian Drones Being Designed To Take Out Targets Like Balakot

karma bites

A public toilet has been erected on the site of a demolished mosque in Atush (in Chinese, Atushi) city, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (Source)

Quite obviously the Islamic nations and Muslims across the world are not happy and the plight of Uighurs is getting from bad to worse.

However, many centuries back in history - An old Islamic poem celebrated the introduction of Islαm in Xinjiang by Uyghurs using these words:

“We came down on them like a flood, We went out among their cities. We tore down the idol-temples, We shat on the Buddha’s head!” (Source)

Back then the Muslims shat on Buddha, today the Chinese are doing the same in the mosque.

Karma is real.

fake reporting and plummeting reporting standards

The journalistic standards in India have plummeted! The media houses and newspapers are openly spreading falsehoods without any repercussions. Here Shekhar Gupta’s thePrint published a mischievous and false reporting piece on the new proposal by the Health Ministry to raise the marriageable age of the girls in India.

Gupta’s online tabloid said:

The proposed review, however, has been opposed by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, ThePrint has learnt.

It is obvious what this tabloid team is trying to do.

The Health Ministry was forced to come out with its own clarification.

Ministry of Health


.@ThePrintIndia story is not only mischievous, but is far from the truth.

The Healthy Ministry’s submission to the Committee is as below:

9:48 AM - 18 Aug 2020

Croatians and Goddess Saraswati

In Croatian, Med means honey. IN Russian Medvedev is similar to the Croatian word Medvjed. They both mean “honey eater” - which is a word for a bear. The root word Med comes from the Sanskrit Madhu while Medvedev and Medvjed come from the Sanskrit word Madhava, a word for Krishna (meaning ‘intoxicating like honey’).

Hravatski is the  language of the Croatian people of Hrvati, where 'Nama' means Us in English

Hravatski is the language of the Croatian people of Hrvati, where 'Nama' means Us in English

Croatians call themselves Hrvati (see above) while they trace their origin from Iran/Persia. This word traces back to Slavic word Horvat which comes from the name Harahvaiti which is a reconstruction of an old name of the Iranian deity Anahita. (Source). Haravaiti is however a corrupted form of the word Saraswati, the Indian Goddess, the Mother of Sanskrit. The Persians used to replace a Sanskrit ‘S’ with a Persian ‘H’, and so the word Haravaiti is actually Sarasvati.

Sanskrit in Croatia From Sarasvati to Hrvati by James Cooper at Sutra Journ

Sanskrit in Croatia From Sarasvati to Hrvati by James Cooper at Sutra Journ

For most of the Croatian people (or as they call themselves, Hrvati) when it comes to defining their origins and tracing their ancient roots they
turn towards the land of Iran and Persia.

Support Drishtikone - Drishtikone

Help Drishtikone bring detailed, well-analyzed content to you every day by donating to its maintenance.

nota bene

India growth of 9%: By removing frictions exposed by the Covid-19 crisis and using this ‘transformative’ moment to fast-track key activities over the next three years, India can reach its ‘full potential’ growth rate of 9%, consultancy firm PwC India said in a report. (Source)

Chinese firm sponsors IPL: Dream 11 will now be the title sponsors for IPL but there are whispers that Tencent, that have invested in the company are from China and that has not pleased many people on social media. (Source)

Re-election may be necessary in US: President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that the 2020 presidential election may have to be done again if universal mail-in voting is introduced. (Source)

US loses Taiwan War Games always: The Red Team, composed of experts on the Chinese military, aims to use all available forces to capture Taiwan, while The Blue Team, made up U.S. military personnel with operational experience — fighter pilots, cyber warriors, space experts, missile defense specialists – must try to defeat the Chinese invasion. The Blue team has always lost. “For years the Blue Team has been in shock because they didn’t realize how badly off they were in a confrontation with China,” says David A. Ochmanek, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development (Source)

who are we?

On a speck of dust that is spinning at roughly 1000 mph and going around the sun at 67000 mph, we think we are extremely important people. And for some reason even believe that cosmic creator is only bothered about us.

This is a brilliant and beautiful little speech by none other than Carl Sagan, the man who first made send about the Universe to me. Watch it! Just watch this!

This Speech Will Change Your Life | Carl Sagan

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Drishtikone - Online Magazine on Geopolitics and Culture from Indian Perspective.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.