"Given all the problems the Pentagon has faced recruiting anthropologists to work with the military, it may have finally hit upon an easier solution: create computerized virtual anthropologists to replace flesh and blood human beings. In a new request for research proposals aimed at small businesses, the Pentagon says it wants technology that would “enable accurate forecasting of a given populations’ potential responses to military relevant events…”
“used to facilitate or to replicate wholly or in part many of the tasks that a human anthropological consultation would provide such as, counter-insurgency, reconstruction or support operations, allowing faster and more accurate development of social-cultural behaviors.”
The use of anthropologists in the Human Terrain System has been one of the enduring and voluble debates in the discipine over the last few years. Many would probably prefer to see machines replace human anthropologists but of course it's not quite so simple as that and one can imagine a new cadre of anthropologists coding up the Machine Malinowski within the walls of the DoD.