IARPA Awards Contracts for Research on Human-Machine Geopolitical Forecasting Tech

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has awarded research contracts under the Hybrid Forecasting Competition program that aims to enhance the accuracy of geopolitical event prediction methods.

IARPA selected HRL Laboratories, Raytheon‘s BBN Technologies subsidiary and the University of Southern California to conduct research on hybrid forecasting systems under the HFC program, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced Friday.

ODNI added IARPA has previously pursued initiatives such as the Open Source Indicators program that utilized automated prediction models and the Aggregative Contingent Estimation effort that leveraged crowdsourced knowledge.

“By combining both approaches, we have a strong potential to be more accurate than either method alone while increasing the number of forecast problems that can be addressed,” said Seth Goldstein, HFC program manager at IARPA.

Awardees of the four-year HFC contracts will compete to develop systems that work to incorporate both human and machine applications and forecast geopolitical issues associated with political elections, interstate conflict, disease outbreaks and other real-world events.

HRL will work with subcontractors Harvard University, University of Houston, Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Raytheon BBN has subcontracted the American Center for Democracy, Tufts University, Wright State Applied Research Corp., System of Systems Analytics, Lumenogic and Ipsos Public Affairs.

USC has tapped Ward Associates, Barnard College, University of California – Irvine, Stanford University, Fordham University and independent consultants Regina Joseph, Pavel Atanasov, Manuel Cebrian and Kun Zhang for support.

Mitre, Good Judgment and Cultivate Labs will collaborate to conduct independent tests on the proposed systems.

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