IARPA in the News

Washingtonian

When Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in July, I turned a profit of $146.55. That same month, I made another $152.36 by successfully predicting that Joko Widodo would be elected president of Indonesia....

The events were real, of course, but alas, the payouts were not. My earnings were phony digital currency awarded by the website Inkling Markets, a public “prediction market” in which people use fake cash to buy fake shares in the outcomes of various developments in world news, politics, sports, and entertainment. Guess correctly often enough and you watch your screen name rise up the site’s leaderboard.

But if the shares have no monetary value, the results, collected and analyzed by Inkling, increasingly do. Mass-prediction models such as Inkling’s have existed as long as the internet has....

Inkling caught a break early on when it was contacted by officials at Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Federal News Radio

The Homeland Security Department is thinking beyond continuous monitoring and the Director of National Intelligence wants help forecasting cyber attack vectors.

These are two interesting cybersecurity-related requests for information that may have been overlooked in December, but due dates for responses are coming soon.

Let's start with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's (IARPA) RFI for its CAUSE program.

IEEE Spectrum

SciCast lets participants bet points on specific outcomes of questions in science and technology, testing their judgment against thousands of others’ and reaping rewards if their prognostications are better than those of their competitors. Anyone can browse SciCast to see what participants think the future will bring. And anyone can play. Registration is required to make forecasts and join the game, but it’s minimal and free. You just need to pick a username and password. Even an e-mail address is optional. You may be asked for more information, or to complete a simple questionnaire to gauge general scientific and technical literacy, but whether you respond or not is up to you.

The George Mason team built SciCast with support from the U.S. Intelligence Research Projects Activity. It’s one of tools for staying ahead of world events, political and scientific. SciCast focuses on the sci-tech part, and is one of three approaches that have “produced notable results,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

SIGNAL

The U.S. intelligence community is moving toward a hypernetwork of sensors and data collectors that ultimately will constitute an Internet of Things for the community and its customers. If it is successful, the intelligence community would have more data, processed into more knowledge, available more quickly and with greater fidelity for operators and decision makers.

For the intelligence community, the Internet of Things (IoT) takes the same approach as that of the commercial world, but it substitutes sensors and other data collection devices for consumer electronics. An intelligence IoT could comprise physical sensors, control devices, multipurpose communications and processing equipment and user interfaces, for example....

Chris Reed, program manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), observes that many compelling visions exist about networking large numbers of devices. “We can all imagine the benefits of being able to make better decisions and have predictions based on having access to a richer and denser set of data about ourselves—the physical and the social environments,” he declares.

FCW

WHAT: The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's Proposers' Day Conference for cyber defense.

WHY: IARPA said it wants to use its Jan. 21 Proposers' Day for the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) Program to explore options beyond the typical "postmortem analysis" approaches to cyber defense that focus on the attack vectors used by adversaries.

TechEnablement

Submission deadlines are Feb. 4, 2015 (single microphone) and Feb. 19, 2015 (multiple microphone). The ASpIRE challenge asks solvers to develop innovative speech recognition systems that can be trained on conversational telephone speech, and yet work well on far-field microphone data from noisy, reverberant rooms. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their techniques on a common set of challenging data that includes significant room noise and reverberation. Whereas the Babel program seeks to develop agile and robust technology that can be rapidly applied to any human language, this Challenge focuses on English language speech recognition.

FierceGovernmentIT

The federal government is seeking to develop "unconventional" methods that can help cybersecurity professionals better predict attacks and deploy countermeasures.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity will host a one-day conference Jan. 21 to provide information about an upcoming solicitation to develop the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment, or CAUSE, program. The agency did not indicate when it would issue the solicitation.