Google and an investment arm of the CIA are jointly backing a company working on real-time web monitoring and prediction.
Recorded Future uses real-time analysis of tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to identify relationships between people, organisations and events — both present and still-to-come.
The company says its temporal analytics engine looks at ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same (or related) entities and events. The idea is to derive, for each event, who was involved and where/when it happened or might happen. Recorded Future plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event.
“The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases,” says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science.
This seems to be the first time that the intelligence community and Google have funded the same startup, at the same time. No one is accusing Google of directly collaborating with the CIA, but this is bound to be fodder for critics of Google, who already see the search giant as overly cozy with the U.S. government.