IARPA in the News 2016


This month it was announced that CSAIL researchers Nir Shavit and Charles Leiserson will be participating in a cross-institutional consortium project at Harvard focused on brain-mapping. Merging the disciplines of data science and neuroscience, the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) project aims to restructure machine learning through reverse-engineering the algorithms of the brain.

The Next Platform

Whether in the brain or in code, neural networks are shaping up to be one of the most critical areas of research in both neuroscience and computer science. An increasing amount of attention, funding, and development has been pushed toward technologies...Accordingly, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the U.S. is getting behind an effort spearheaded by Tai Sing Lee, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, and researchers at Johns Hopkins University, among others, to make new connections between the brain’s neural function and how those same processes might map to neural networks and other computational frameworks.


Researchers are working to reverse-engineer how the brain’s visual system processes information in hopes of advancing machine learning algorithms and computer vision....The five-year, $12 million research project funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity are will be led by Tai Sing Lee, professor in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.


Most innovative agencies share a common element in the way they acquire and develop new technology: They're unafraid to take risks and fail in a productive and intelligent way, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service....The report highlights several ways in which federal agencies are getting creative in the acquisition space to ensure more successful outcomes of research, development and procurement, specifically citing Department of Homeland Security and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity interviewees who embrace failure in search of high-risk, high-payoff innovation.


The U.S. government should use more contests, challenges and prizes to find technological innovations and savings, according to two government officials who oversee federal research and development efforts....At Thursday’s PeaceTech Summit in Washington, D.C., Ann Mei Chang, the executive director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab, and Jason Matheny, the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, said federal challenges and prize competitions often unlock innovations that are rare in traditional federal contracting — and cheaper.