An advocate of human-computer symbiosis, Shyam Sankar looks for clues in big and disparate data sets.
Shyam Sankar is a Director at Palantir Technologies, a secretive Silicon Valley company where he oversees deployments of the company's core technology, which helps law enforcement teams and corporations analyze giant, unrelated databases for clues to potential ... anything. Palantir technologies has been used to find missing children, to detect banking fraud, and to uncover the Shadow Network, a cyber-spy ring that stooped so low as to hack the Dalai Lama's email.
As part of his work, Sankar thinks deeply about the place where human and machine intelligence meet. While artificial intelligence (AI) is the dominant paradigm, he is an advocate of JCR Licklider's "intelligence augmentation" (IA) approach, where algorithms and brains work together to solve problems.
"Palantir's software pulls off one of the great computer science feats of the era: It combs through all available databases, identifying related pieces of information, and puts everything together in one place."Bloomberg Businessweek
“The interface between man and machine … is more important than the power of the man or the power of the machine in determining overall capability.”
“While computers alone can catch all but the cleverest fraudsters, catching the cleverest is the difference between success and failure.”
“You cannot algorithmically data mine your way to the answer. There is no "Find Terrorist" button.”
“Privacy and civil liberties are of fundamental importance and they can't be swept aside, even with the best of intents.”