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Civil liberties watch: The digitization of physical surveillance

Ted Berger, director of the USC Center for Neural Engineering, has developed exquisitely sensitive acoustic analysis software capable of spotting gunshots (okay, probably not so hard), whispers, footfalls, and the sound of feet climbing a chain link fence, among other things. In conjunction with an array of microphones, the software could be used to guard unmanned borders or instantly pinpoint and report gun-related crime in urban environments.

Ted Berger, director of the USC Center for Neural Engineering, has developed exquisitely sensitive acoustic analysis software capable of spotting gunshots (okay, probably not so hard), whispers, footfalls, and the sound of feet climbing a chain link fence, among other things. In conjunction with an array of microphones, the software could be used to guard unmanned borders or instantly pinpoint and report gun-related crime in urban environments.

So what?

Dr. Berger's system is probably, as usual, only the beginning. What we're seeing here is part of the industrialization and digitization

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