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Coding for Uncertainty Increases Security

By Harvard University John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

February 24, 2020

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Computer scientists at Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) designed an algorithm to combat poaching in wildlife preserves by causing surveillance drones to strategically signal, in the hope they can fool poachers into thinking they have been spotted.

The scientists engineered the GUARDSS algorithm to account for uncertainties, so if a ranger is not near when the drone spots a poacher, the software's calculations will determine whether the drone signals or not.

The drone also may signal even if it sees nothing, to account for uncertainty.

Said SEAS' Haifeng Xu, "Such bluffing tactics can also be rigorously computed and implemented as algorithms for the purpose of social good, like to combat illegal poaching."

From Harvard University John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
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