a. Using the key points of perception in Heuer, discuss the difference between technological and human sensors, what advantages do technological sensors hold over human sensors and vice versa.Heuer (2005), citing Simon, states that “the [human] mind cannot cope directly with the complexity of the world” (“Thinking About Thinking”) due to limits in its capacity.
Because of these limitations, Simon posits that human beings, being unable to process the complexities of the world, the human mind creates a simpler model and then uses that model to formulate potentially inaccurate theories and opinions about the world (Heurer, 2005, “Thinking About Thinking”). While Heuer largely rejects this argument, it is clear that human beings typically think that perception is a passive process and must be taught to analyze and to reason based on information that the brain is called upon to process (Heuer, 2005). Some of the limitations that humans experience in processing the world include seeing what the viewer expects to see, having difficulty shifting perceptions as new information is provided, and delay in adjusting to new perceptions of an image or object when new and more accurate representations are presented (Heuer, 2005).
Technological sensors do not have trouble with these issues. A technological sensor can process larger amounts of data than a human mind, in a shorter period. In addition, it does not seek to reformulate reality to conform to a limited capacity used to process it; rather, it reports the world as a whole and unaltered. However, this literal translation of the world can be a limitation as well.
Although a technological “brain” cannot be fooled by ambiguous images in the manner of a human brain, neither can it currently interpret unfamiliar information based on experience. While it is possible for the technological sensor to report such information, it still requires human interpretation to determine the identity of the image.b. Heuer discusses how humans retain information through a discussion of sensory information storage, short-term memory and long-term memory. Discuss methods or tactics, techniques or protocols your unit can adopt to prevent these issues. For example, using patrol notebooks, giving Soldiers questions to answer before they leave, etc.
Be specific in your recommendations for potential standard operating procedures, or techniques and protocols to be used.In order for human beings to remember information, it must first be broken into units that are optimal for processing in terms of size and format. Remembering data requires practicing that data in a consistent format, so that it passes from short-term memory into long-term memory (Heuer, 2005). However, the human mind is fallible and this data can become corrupted either by imperfect practicing or through extended periods passing before that data is retrieved from long-term memory.It is possible for some data corruption to be avoided by providing soldiers with patrol notebooks or small voice or image recording devices in order to enhance recall. Any of these devices should be used immediately upon the soldier viewing the image or information, to avoid loss or corruption of data. If the soldier is unable to transfer the data to a recording device immediately, he or she should use a system to aid in the retention and retrieval of the data, such as a mnemonic device.
Using such a process would require that soldiers be taught effective mnemonic devices and their use.c. Discuss the effectiveness of the Soldier Sensor based on the following statement, “Although each Soldier has a different perception, at some point the information the technological sensors provide have to be analyzed and interpreted by humans. This means all collected information is subject to human misperceptions and imperfect memory.” Provide an assessment as to the overall effectiveness of the human sensor, and support your assessment.All human beings have imperfect information recording and retrieval processes. In addition, all human beings have different experiences and preconceived assessments of information that color the manner in which information is processed. Because only limited amounts of data can be processed by a human mind, interpreting data recorded by a technological sensor might be a time-consuming process if done by a single individual.
It may appear, for these reasons, that relying on human interpretation of information retrieved by technological means is an unfortunate necessity. However, human interpretation of the data may actually be beneficial to the process.Technology is undoubtedly more effective in terms of recording data than the human brain. However, the schema that humans use to record relationships may allow them to perceive patterns of behavior or appearance that allow them to draw conclusions from data that a technological processor would miss (Heuer, 2005). A camera might record a person stopping to take a deep breath each time he or she steps from a building, for example, but only a human being can interpret the pattern of behavior and determine if the recorded person is scanning the environment for threats or other information.In addition, human beings can make “leaps of faith” when interpreting recorded information. A camera can interpret an indistinct image and its movement.
Based on experience, a human being can assess what that image might represent, what its movement or behavior might mean, and then make a decision on how to react in terms of what purpose or intent–benign or hostile–that image represents. It is possible to minimize the effects of human interpretation by having teams with several members interpreting the same data.ReferenceHeuer, R. J. (2005). Psychology of Intelligence Analysis.
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