Synthetic Environments

We first learned about a neat military planning tool called SEAS – that’s Synthetic Environment Analysis and Simulation – which is apparently part of the “Synthetic Experimentation Toolkit” – in this undated presentation (3.9MB PowerPoint file) from earlier this year. In contrast to the tactical first-person simulations shown in the previous post, SEAS and it’s brethren are the next-generation of large-scale planning simulations, more in the vein of SimCity (or perhaps Tropico) than Opposing Force.

We, of course, particularly liked what SEAS demonstrates – “Media and propaganda’s influence on public opinion.” Who, me, cynical? Never.

Anyway, a new presentation on SEAS was presented today, for those who are interested in such things (1MB PowerPoint file.) While it appears the developers are taking pains to include as much unpredictability and randomness as possible, while remaining within the constrains of their real-life scenarios, you have to wonder just how useful a computer simulation, however well programmed, can really be in recreating the unpredictable nature of, well, nature.

On a side note, am I the only one who wonders just how happy the leaders of the dozens of nations represented in the simulation are at having the U.S. military practice both covert and overt military, political, and economic actions against their countries? For that matter, how do Indonesians feel about their country being a virtual sandbox (4.21MB PDF) for planners in the American government? Does the Indonesian government get to play with this beautiful, and no doubt expensive, model of their country? Questions, questions…

Published in: General, Security | on May 17th, 2007| Comments Off on Synthetic Environments

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