Summary of “Meet the US’s spy system of the future”

A product of the National Reconnaissance Office, Sentient is an omnivorous analysis tool, capable of devouring data of all sorts, making sense of the past and present, anticipating the future, and pointing satellites toward what it determines will be the most interesting parts of that future.
It’s not all dystopian: the documents released by the NRO also imply that Sentient can make satellites more efficient and productive.
Of the more than 150 US military satellites, the NRO operates around 50.
One of these, BlackSky, uses those satellites to feed into a system that’s essentially Sentient’s unclassified doppelgänger.
In the ideal version of that process, an automated system sucks in all sorts of data, synthesizes it into something sensible, cues the satellite symphony, reincorporates the satellites’ data back into the analysis loop, comes to a smarter conclusion, points the satellites or other sensors again, and repeats the entire process.
Here’s where Sentient reenters the picture: All the images from the NRO, the military, and these commercial satellite firms, combined with other geospatial intelligence – anything that has a time tag and a location tag – create a vast amount of information that’s far more than a literal army of people could comb through.
It could perhaps gather data on how often they fly and where, or even look at news to find out whether there’s any agitation or action around Aleysk: now the system knows exactly where they should point their real-time satellites to gather the information that their client needs.
Spy satellites, like the ones used by the NRO, are primarily meant to focus on the world beyond the United States’ borders.

The orginal article.