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NGA’s Todd Myers: China Uses GAN Technique to Tamper With Earth Images

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Todd Myers, automation lead at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s office of the director of technology, said China is using a technique called generative adversarial networks to deceive computers into seeing fake bridges and other objects in Earth satellite images, Defense One reported Sunday.

“The Chinese have already designed; they’re already doing it right now, using GANs—which are generative adversarial networks—to manipulate scenes and pixels to create things for nefarious reasons,” Myers said Thursday at the Genius Machines Summit. “So from a tactical perspective or mission planning, you train your forces to go a certain route, toward a bridge, but it’s not there. Then there’s a big surprise waiting for you,” he noted.

Myers said the intelligence community and military can counter GAN but would require duplicate satellite image collections.

“The biggest thing is the funding required to make sure you can do what I just talked about,” he added.

Myers will be featured as a panelist at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2019 Data Management Forum, which will be held on April 10 in Falls Church, Va. Click here to register for the event.