This New $200+ Million Fund Will Create Some Amazing Big Data Projects

iron man tony stark

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Five federal agencies have launched a new $200 million fund for big data projects. Some of the new technologies they want to build with it are mind blowing.The White House announced the new fund yesterday [press release, PDF] to support plans for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, US Geological Survey and the Department of defence. 

The DoD plans to spend a bunch more money on big data projects, too … some $250 million a year, the White House said.

Here’s what these agencies want to do:

  • The DoD will make machines that can sense their environment, make their own decisions and even move around. Skynet, here we come!
  • Spies will be 100 times better at decoding enemy secrets hidden in any language in documents, videos, other data.
  • The DoD’s research arm, DARPA, will spend $25 million for a new open source tool that analyses data with some kind of new, visual, human-computer interface. (We’re imagining that scene in the Iron Man movie with Tony Stark in his lab, moving objects in the air.)
  • The NIH and NSF is giving UC Berkeley $10 million to stitch together machine learning, cloud computing and crowd sourcing. They want solve social problems like detecting the early stages of an epidemic, stopping cyber attacks and finding other Earth-like planets in the universe, UC Berkley says.
  • In a coup for Amazon, the NIH has just put the world’s largest database of human genetics information on Amazon AWS. This info will power the next discoveries in medicine.
  • The USGS will be working on Earth science projects such as how animals deal with climate change and predicting earthquakes.

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