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Artificial intelligence: short history, present developments, and future outlook, final report

Summary

The Director's Office at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) requested a comprehensive study on artificial intelligence (AI) focusing on present applications and future science and technology (S&T) opportunities in the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division (Division 5). This report elaborates on the main results from the study. Since the AI field is evolving so rapidly, the study scope was to look at the recent past and ongoing developments to lead to a set of findings and recommendations. It was important to begin with a short AI history and a lay-of-the-land on representative developments across the Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence communities (IC), and Homeland Security. These areas are addressed in more detail within the report. A main deliverable from the study was to formulate an end-to-end AI canonical architecture that was suitable for a range of applications. The AI canonical architecture, formulated in the study, serves as the guiding framework for all the sections in this report. Even though the study primarily focused on cyber security and information sciences, the enabling technologies are broadly applicable to many other areas. Therefore, we dedicate a full section on enabling technologies in Section 3. The discussion on enabling technologies helps the reader clarify the distinction among AI, machine learning algorithms, and specific techniques to make an end-to-end AI system viable. In order to understand what is the lay-of-the-land in AI, study participants performed a fairly wide reach within MIT LL and external to the Laboratory (government, commercial companies, defense industrial base, peers, academia, and AI centers). In addition to the study participants (shown in the next section under acknowledgements), we also assembled an internal review team (IRT). The IRT was extremely helpful in providing feedback and in helping with the formulation of the study briefings, as we transitioned from datagathering mode to the study synthesis. The format followed throughout the study was to highlight relevant content that substantiates the study findings, and identify a set of recommendations. An important finding is the significant AI investment by the so-called "big 6" commercial companies. These major commercial companies are Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and IBM. They dominate in the AI ecosystem research and development (R&D) investments within the U.S. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, cumulative R&D investment in AI amounts to about $30 billion per year. This amount is substantially higher than the R&D investment within the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security. Therefore, the DoD will need to be very strategic about investing where needed, while at the same time leveraging the technologies already developed and available from a wide range of commercial applications. As we will discuss in Section 1 as part of the AI history, MIT LL has been instrumental in developing advanced AI capabilities. For example, MIT LL has a long history in the development of human language technologies (HLT) by successfully applying machine learning algorithms to difficult problems in speech recognition, machine translation, and speech understanding. Section 4 elaborates on prior applications of these technologies, as well as newer applications in the context of multi-modalities (e.g., speech, text, images, and video). An end-to-end AI system is very well suited to enhancing the capabilities of human language analysis. Section 5 discusses AI's nascent role in cyber security. There have been cases where AI has already provided important benefits. However, much more research is needed in both the application of AI to cyber security and the associated vulnerability to the so-called adversarial AI. Adversarial AI is an area very critical to the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security, where malicious adversaries can disrupt AI systems and make them untrusted in operational environments. This report concludes with specific recommendations by formulating the way forward for Division 5 and a discussion of S&T challenges and opportunities. The S&T challenges and opportunities are centered on the key elements of the AI canonical architecture to strengthen the AI capabilities across the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security in support of national security.
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Summary

The Director's Office at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) requested a comprehensive study on artificial intelligence (AI) focusing on present applications and future science and technology (S&T) opportunities in the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division (Division 5). This report elaborates on the main results from the study. Since the...

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Detection and characterization of human trafficking networks using unsupervised scalable text template matching

Summary

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery affecting an estimated 40 million victims worldwide, primarily through the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. In the last decade, the advertising of victims has moved from the streets to websites on the Internet, providing greater efficiency and anonymity for sex traffickers. This shift has allowed traffickers to list their victims in multiple geographic areas simultaneously, while also improving operational security by using multiple methods of electronic communication with buyers; complicating the ability of law enforcement to disrupt these illicit organizations. In this paper, we address this issue and present a novel unsupervised and scalable template matching algorithm for analyzing and detecting complex organizations operating on adult service websites. The algorithm uses only the advertisement content to uncover signature patterns in text that are indicative of organized activities and organizational structure. We apply this method to a large corpus of adult service advertisements retrieved from backpage.com, and show that the networks identified through the algorithm match well with surrogate truth data derived from phone number networks in the same corpus. Further exploration of the results show that the proposed method provides deeper insights into the complex structures of sex trafficking organizations, not possible through networks derived from phone numbers alone. This method provides a powerful new capability for law enforcement to more completely identify and gather evidence about trafficking networks and their operations.
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Summary

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery affecting an estimated 40 million victims worldwide, primarily through the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. In the last decade, the advertising of victims has moved from the streets to websites on the Internet, providing greater efficiency and anonymity for sex...

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Classifier performance estimation with unbalanced, partially labeled data

Published in:
Proc. Machine Learning Research, Vol. 88, 2018, pp. 4-16.

Summary

Class imbalance and lack of ground truth are two significant problems in modern machine learning research. These problems are especially pressing in operational contexts where the total number of data points is extremely large and the cost of obtaining labels is very high. In the face of these issues, accurate estimation of the performance of a detection or classification system is crucial to inform decisions based on the observations. This paper presents a framework for estimating performance of a binary classifier in such a context. We focus on the scenario where each set of measurements has been reduced to a score, and the operator only investigates data when the score exceeds a threshold. The operator is blind to the number of missed detections, so performance estimation targets two quantities: recall and the derivative of precision with respect to recall. Measuring with respect to error in these two metrics, simulations in this context demonstrate that labeling outliers not only outperforms random labeling, but often matches performance of an adaptive method that attempts to choose the optimal data for labeling. Application to real anomaly detection data confirms the utility of the approach, and suggests direction for future work.
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Summary

Class imbalance and lack of ground truth are two significant problems in modern machine learning research. These problems are especially pressing in operational contexts where the total number of data points is extremely large and the cost of obtaining labels is very high. In the face of these issues, accurate...

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Implicitly-defined neural networks for sequence labeling

Published in:
Annual Meeting of Assoc. of Computational Lingusitics, 31 July 2017.

Summary

In this work, we propose a novel, implicitly defined neural network architecture and describe a method to compute its components. The proposed architecture forgoes the causality assumption previously used to formulate recurrent neural networks and allow the hidden states of the network to coupled together, allowing potential improvement on problems with complex, long-distance dependencies. Initial experiments demonstrate the new architecture outperforms both the Stanford Parser and a baseline bidirectional network on the Penn Treebank Part-of-Speech tagging task and a baseline bidirectional network on an additional artificial random biased walk task.
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Summary

In this work, we propose a novel, implicitly defined neural network architecture and describe a method to compute its components. The proposed architecture forgoes the causality assumption previously used to formulate recurrent neural networks and allow the hidden states of the network to coupled together, allowing potential improvement on problems...

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Twitter language identification of similar languages and dialects without ground truth

Published in:
Proc. 4th Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects, 3 April 2017, pp. 73-83.

Summary

We present a new method to bootstrap filter Twitter language ID labels in our dataset for automatic language identification (LID). Our method combines geolocation, original Twitter LID labels, and Amazon Mechanical Turk to resolve missing and unreliable labels. We are the first to compare LID classification performance using the MIRA algorithm and langid.py. We show classifier performance on different versions of our dataset with high accuracy using only Twitter data, without ground truth, and very few training examples. We also show how Platt Scaling can be use to calibrate MIRA classifier output values into a probability distribution over candidate classes, making the output more intuitive. Our method allows for fine-grained distinctions between similar languages and dialects and allows us to rediscover the language composition of our Twitter dataset.
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Summary

We present a new method to bootstrap filter Twitter language ID labels in our dataset for automatic language identification (LID). Our method combines geolocation, original Twitter LID labels, and Amazon Mechanical Turk to resolve missing and unreliable labels. We are the first to compare LID classification performance using the MIRA...

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Approaches for language identification in mismatched environments

Summary

In this paper, we consider the task of language identification in the context of mismatch conditions. Specifically, we address the issue of using unlabeled data in the domain of interest to improve the performance of a state-of-the-art system. The evaluation is performed on a 9-language set that includes data in both conversational telephone speech and narrowband broadcast speech. Multiple experiments are conducted to assess the performance of the system in this condition and a number of alternatives to ameliorate the drop in performance. The best system evaluated is based on deep neural network (DNN) bottleneck features using i-vectors utilizing a combination of all the approaches proposed in this work. The resulting system improved baseline DNN system performance by 30%.
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Summary

In this paper, we consider the task of language identification in the context of mismatch conditions. Specifically, we address the issue of using unlabeled data in the domain of interest to improve the performance of a state-of-the-art system. The evaluation is performed on a 9-language set that includes data in...

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Multi-lingual deep neural networks for language recognition

Published in:
SLT 2016, IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop, 13-16 December 2016.

Summary

Multi-lingual feature extraction using bottleneck layers in deep neural networks (BN-DNNs) has been proven to be an effective technique for low resource speech recognition and more recently for language recognition. In this work we investigate the impact on language recognition performance of the multi-lingual BN-DNN architecture and training configurations for the NIST 2011 and 2015 language recognition evaluations (LRE11 and LRE15). The best performing multi-lingual BN-DNN configuration yields relative performance gains of 50% on LRE11 and 40% on LRE15 compared to a standard MFCC/SDC baseline system and 17% on LRE11 and 7% on LRE15 relative to a single language BN-DNN system. Detailed performance analysis using data from all 24 Babel languages, Fisher Spanish and Switchboard English shows the impact of language selection and the amount of training data on overall BN-DNN performance.
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Summary

Multi-lingual feature extraction using bottleneck layers in deep neural networks (BN-DNNs) has been proven to be an effective technique for low resource speech recognition and more recently for language recognition. In this work we investigate the impact on language recognition performance of the multi-lingual BN-DNN architecture and training configurations for...

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Intersection and convex combination in multi-source spectral planted cluster detection

Published in:
IEEE Global Conf. on Signal and Information Processing, GlobalSIP, 7-9 December 2016.

Summary

Planted cluster detection is an important form of signal detection when the data are in the form of a graph. When there are multiple graphs representing multiple connection types, the method of aggregation can have significant impact on the results of a detection algorithm. This paper addresses the tradeoff between two possible aggregation methods: convex combination and intersection. For a spectral detection method, convex combination dominates when the cluster is relatively sparse in at least one graph, while the intersection method dominates in cases where it is dense across graphs. Experimental results confirm the theory. We consider the context of adversarial cluster placement, and determine how an adversary would distribute connections among the graphs to best avoid detection.
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Summary

Planted cluster detection is an important form of signal detection when the data are in the form of a graph. When there are multiple graphs representing multiple connection types, the method of aggregation can have significant impact on the results of a detection algorithm. This paper addresses the tradeoff between...

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Bootstrapping and maintaining trust in the cloud

Published in:
32nd Annual Computer Security Applications Conf., ACSAC 2016, 5-9 December 2016.

Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware like the TPM have long promised a solution to this problem. However, these technologies have not seen broad adoption because of their complexity of implementation, low performance, and lack of compatibility with virtualized environments. In this paper we introduce keylime, a scalable trusted cloud key management system. keylime provides an end-to-end solution for both bootstrapping hardware rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS nodes and for system integrity monitoring of those nodes via periodic attestation. We support these functions in both bare-metal and virtualized IaaS environments using a virtual TPM. keylime provides a clean interface that allows higher level security services like disk encryption or configuration management to leverage trusted computing without being trusted computing aware. We show that our bootstrapping protocol can derive a key in less than two seconds, we can detect system integrity violations in as little as 110ms, and that keylime can scale to thousands of IaaS cloud nodes.
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Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware...

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LLTools: machine learning for human language processing

Summary

Machine learning methods in Human Language Technology have reached a stage of maturity where widespread use is both possible and desirable. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory LLTools software suite provides a step towards this goal by providing a set of easily accessible frameworks for incorporating speech, text, and entity resolution components into larger applications. For the speech processing component, the pySLGR (Speaker, Language, Gender Recognition) tool provides signal processing, standard feature analysis, speech utterance embedding, and machine learning modeling methods in Python. The text processing component in LLTools extracts semantically meaningful insights from unstructured data via entity extraction, topic modeling, and document classification. The entity resolution component in LLTools provides approximate string matching, author recognition and graph-based methods for identifying and linking different instances of the same real-world entity. We show through two applications that LLTools can be used to rapidly create and train research prototypes for human language processing.
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Summary

Machine learning methods in Human Language Technology have reached a stage of maturity where widespread use is both possible and desirable. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory LLTools software suite provides a step towards this goal by providing a set of easily accessible frameworks for incorporating speech, text, and entity resolution components...

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