IARPA in the News

The New York Times

Is there a solution to this country’s polarized politics?...In recent years, Professor Tetlock and collaborators have observed this depolarizing effect when conducting forecasting “tournaments” designed to identify what separates good forecasters from the rest of us. In these tournaments, run at the behest of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (which supports research relevant to intelligence agencies), thousands of forecasters competed to answer roughly 500 questions on various national security topics, from the movement of Syrian refugees to the stability of the eurozone.


How reliable are the forecasts of so-called “experts”? Not very, it turns out. About a decade ago, Wharton professor Philip Tetlock analyzed the predictions that almost 300 respected authorities in politics and economics made over two decades – and as The New Yorker’s Louis Menand summed up the results, “Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world … are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys.”

The Spectator

Forecasts have been fundamental to mankind’s journey from a small tribe on the African savannah to a species that can sling objects across the solar system with extreme precision. In physics we have developed models that are extremely accurate across vastly different scales from the sub-atomic to the visible universe. In politics we have bumbled along making the same sort of errors repeatedly.

The Street

The Good Judgment Project is a multi-year forecasting study that Tetlock co-leads with his wife, Barbara Mellers. The project studies tens of thousands of ordinary volunteers -- including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer and a former ballroom dancer -- who are asked to forecast global events. Among them, some are far better than average at predicting the direction of events.

Defense One

The CIA will stand up its new Directorate for Digital Innovation on Thursday. It’s the first directorate the agency has added since 1963 and the biggest change to America’s key spy service since before the moon landing....What does that mean? In describing how the directorate will provide anticipatory intelligence, Hallman highlighted a 2011 program sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or IARPA, called Open Source Indicators, or OSI.


Introduction: The Bad News and the Good News What if you had the opportunity to learn how to improve the quality of your forecasts, measured as the distance between forecasts and outcomes, by 60 percent? Interested? Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner is a book that shows how a small number of “superforecasters” achieved that level of skill....An agency within the community, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), was assembled to pursue high-risk research into how to improve American intelligence.

The Washington Post

In the weeks surrounding the signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran, American pundits from across the political spectrum offered opinions on the outcome of the deal that were similar in one respect: their confidence....Funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the intelligence community’s equivalent to DARPA, the tournaments required competitors — volunteers drawn from a wide range of careers, all with an amateur interest in politics — to make thousands of forecasts.