IARPA in the News


Imagine if IBM's Watson -- the "Jeopardy!" champion supercomputer -- could answer not only trivia questions and forecast the weather, but also predict data breaches days before they occur.

That is the ambitious, long-term goal of a contest being held by the U.S. intelligence community....

CAUSE is the brainchild of the Office for Anticipating Surprise under the director of national intelligence. A “Broad Agency Agreement” -- competition terms and conditions -- is expected to be issued any day now, contest hopefuls say.

Budapest Business Journal

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), or “brain zapping” as it is often (erroneously) described, is garnering a fair amount of attention, both from academics and the media. The technique has been used to boost mental functions such as attention and memory.

Manufacturers are now advertising and selling tES devices to the public. These devices provide transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) – the best-known form of tES – and are in some cases available online for less than $200. They sail through a loophole in regulatory requirements because they make no medical claims. But are they capable of fulfilling the promises that the media, researchers, and, most recently, manufacturers are making on their behalf?...

Roi Cohen Kadosh’s research has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, among others.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

On April 2, 2013, President Obama launched the Brain Research through Advancing Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a Grand Challenge designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. Since then, the BRAIN Initiative has grown to include five Federal agencies. The BRAIN Initiative remains a top priority for the Administration, which is why the President’s 2016 Budget proposes increasing funding for the BRAIN Initiative from about $200 million in FY 2015 to more than $300 million in FY 2016....

IARPA will focus on applying breakthroughs in neuroscience to advance understanding of cognition and computation in the brain. In addition, IARPA will test and validate non-invasive neural interventions that have the potential to significantly improve adaptive reasoning and problem solving.

Executive Gov

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity plans to enlist industry expertise to develop methods to predict dire international scenarios using signals intelligence data.

IARPA will hold a proposers’ day forum in Washington on March 5 to seek technology ideas from interested participants in the Mercury Program, the agency said Feb. 3.


What: A request from the intelligence community's research arm for ideas about how to use signals intelligence (SIGINT) data to help manage dire international situations.

Why: The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) wants to step beyond using publicly available information such as news reports and everyday communications to help deal with foreign political crises and disease outbreaks. IARPA wants to analyze a world of more subtle information generated through SIGINT.

Big Data

Anticipatory intelligence is considered to be one of the next frontiers of “big data” research, wherein myriad data streams are fused together to generate predictions of critical societal events. One of the promising themes in this space is the idea of harnessing open-source datasets to identify threats and support decision making for national security, law enforcement, and intelligence missions. Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates (EMBERS) is an anticipatory intelligence system for forecasting socially significant population-level events, such as civil unrest incidents, disease outbreaks, and election outcomes, on the basis of publicly available data. EMBERS is supported by the Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity (IARPA) Open Source Indicators (OSI) program.


The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is planning a conference in March for researchers interested in its new Mercury Program — aimed at predicting future events by mining foreign signals intelligence — the agency said Wednesday. The program will focus on parsing classified foreign SIGINT, such as electronic communications, along with open source information, according to a notice. Details: http://1.usa.gov/1uaX3yN.