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President Donald Trump’s White House is reportedly considering a proposal that would create a new department in the government to try and detect the potential of violent acts using artificial intelligence.
The Washington Post reports that in the wake of deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, Trump has reacted positively to a proposal to create a new department within Health and Human Services called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency or HARPA.
According to the Post, HARPA would use “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence” and lists a number of apps and smart home devices that could be used to collect data including: Fitbits, Amazon Echos, Apple Watches, and Google Homes.
Those pushing the proposal told the Post that it would collect data from volunteers, but given the United States’ notoriously horrendous record with surveillance and technology, the news of the White House considering such a proposal left many people feeling uneasy.
Several people compared it to Minority Report, a movie based on a Philip K. Dick story where people are arrested based on advance knowledge that they are going to commit a crime.
Which creepy weirdo in this White House will eventually run the pre-crime division of DOJ in “Minority Report”? https://t.co/ItnE3yika8— Aki Peritz (@AkiPeritz) August 22, 2019
this is an absolutely terrible idea based on a willfully incorrect premise that attempts to substitute stigma and surveillance for the solution these ghouls can’t abide: banning the goddamn guns.— Lindsey Barrett (@LAM_Barrett) August 22, 2019
The government’s not going to do gun control so they’re thinking about doing Minority Report instead. https://t.co/L3zIFtU5GS— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) August 22, 2019
Where does this lead? Involuntary commitment by the Feds based on your behavior on social media? Truly, truly dystopian.https://t.co/gPnTK6tfS5— Christopher Mims 🎆 (@mims) August 22, 2019
You can read all of the Washington Post report here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).