Israeli army unveils secret data science unit

Dr. Kira Radinsky  Photo: Eli Izhar

Unit 3060 is a field intelligence unit that supports decision making by commanders in the field with big data analysis.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) today unveiled development Unit 3060 in the Intelligence Corps, which was formed in 2014 by merging field intelligence technology units. The unit is responsible for developing data systems for intelligence officers. Unit 3060 has some 400 soldiers, half of them conscripts and half career soldiers. The unit includes a data science laboratory and includes dozens of technology specialists from various branches of the army and collaborates closely with academia and high-tech companies in the data sector.

eBay Israel chief scientist and director of data Dr. Kira Radinsky participated in the unveiling of Unit 3060. She collaborates with the Unit's data science laboratory as an academic. Radinsky said that the need for a data science laboratory stemmed from the fact that Israel has very few data science specialists with deep enough training and that this shortfall was by no means unique to Israel. "Worldwide there is a shortfall of 200,000 data scientists so that that the demand here is extremely acute," she said.

Radinsky told "Globes that at present the few academics that there are in Israel specializing in the field are instructing the elite graduates of prestigious IDF training programs like Mamram, Psagot, Talpiot and others - and creating the first group of experts for the IDF laboratory so that it can pass on the data to the army personnel themselves. "They have already made impressive achievements in the field," she added.

Unit 3060 is sometimes called the "Purple Unit" from the fusion of blue, which represents the IDF, and red, which represents the enemy, because the Unit has developed a system designed to serve intelligence officers in the field at any point where a conflict takes place. The unit stresses big data - gathering the biggest amounts of intelligence possible, processing it and presenting it in the most effective way to commanders in various sectors, managing opening fire, maneuvers, protecting borders and secret operations. The system interfaces with other technological systems that serve the commanders.

The types of data that the intelligence systems are required to cope with are diverse: stills photographs, video clips from drones, text messages and more. In order to cope with the different types of data the system is required to implement interpreting images, research geographic data, analyze assault decision making, analyze threats in maneuvers, updates and alerts and monitor developments in real-time.

Through machine learning and artificial intelligence, the system can form a picture of the enemy, analyze terrain, and construct an image of targets. A senior officer in the unit said, "Every target attacks comes from our system. The system does not replace the decision making of intelligence officers - but actually analyzes the data - supporting decisions and supporting processes."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 3, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Dr. Kira Radinsky  Photo: Eli Izhar
Dr. Kira Radinsky Photo: Eli Izhar
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