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Pentagon-Funded ‘Fun to Play’ Games Would Crowdsource Weapons Testing
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Pentagon-Funded Fun to Play' Games Would Crowdsource Weapons Testing

January 20th, 2012Via: Nextgov:
The Pentagon plans to fork over $32 million to develop "fun to play" computer games that can refine the way weapons systems are tested to ensure they are free from software errors and security bugs, according to a Defense Department solicitation.
The goal is to create puzzles that are "intuitively understandable by ordinary people" and could be solved on laptops, smartphones, tablets and consoles. The games' solutions will be collected into a database and used to improve methods for analyzing software, according to the draft request for proposals put out by the military's venture capital and research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
As weapons systems have become complex, the military's methods for verifying that the software running on them is glitch-free and secure against hackers has fallen short. Formal verification is the process analysts use, through the application of mathematical theories, to determine if software code is free from bugs. Crowdsourcing this complicated task would help the Pentagon cut costs while it grapples with a shortage of computer security specialists.
"Formal verification has been too costly to apply beyond small, critical software components," the document said. "This is particularly an issue for the Department of Defense because formal verification, while a proven method for reducing defects in software, currently requires highly specialized talent and cannot be scaled to the size of software found in modern weapon systems."
DARPA's three-year experiment, known as Crowdsourced Formal Verification, will address the question: How can developers translate formal verification problems into compelling puzzles people will want to solve?
The agency estimates that it will spend $4.7 million on the project this year.
Posted in Dictatorship, Social Engineering, Technology, War
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