IARPA in the News

Defense One

Imagine having access to the all of the world’s recorded conversations, videos that people have posted to YouTube, in addition to chatter collected by random microphones in public places. Then picture the possibility of searching that dataset for clues related to terms that you are interested in the same way you search Google. You could look up, for example, who was having a conversation right now about plastic explosives, about a particular flight departing from Islamabad, about Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in reference to a particular area of Northern Iraq.

On Nov. 17, the U.S. announced a new challenge called Automatic Speech recognition in Reverberant Environments, giving it the acronym ASpIRE. The challenge comes from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or IARPA. It speaks to a major opportunity for intelligence collection in the years ahead, teaching machines to scan the ever-expanding world of recorded speech. To do that, researchers will need to take a decades’ old technology, computerized speech recognition, and re-invent it from scratch.


The intelligence community is looking beyond Google Glass and the Fitbit to a future that might make James Bond green with envy. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is looking to spur development on a new generation of wearables that combine advanced sensor technology, long battery life and ease of concealment to provide a host of new observational capabilities.

Network World

Your government wants to know exactly what applications are possible as wearable devices with all manner of sensors become more entrenched in our daily lives.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) which falls under the auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, last week issued a Request For Information that looks into how wearable devices that offer “direct and persistent sensing of an individual and their local social and physical environment” can be used to better help monitor everything from your personal environment to health situations.

Medical Design Technology

Addressing regulators, members of industry, and other stakeholders, Jennifer French delivered a powerful message about those requiring brain–computer interface (BCI) devices to treat paralysis and other neurological conditions: “We are not patients; we are consumers, end users.”...

In April 2013, President Obama announced the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which was developed to answer questions about major brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury.

The FDA, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are taking part in this project, with support from GE, Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Inscopix.


Big talk may characterize the promises of this century’s burgeoning “big data” transformation, but in the world of foreign policy an altogether quieter revolution is taking place in the growing sub-field of futures studies....

The US government’s prominent investment in this area is not confined to DARPA and the DoD. In 2011, through its R&D channel known as the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA, a sibling to DARPA), it is funding an ongoing 4-year experiment to identify the best and most accurate futures forecasters in the world in a tournament known as the Aggregative Contingent Estimation Project (ACE). ACE is the first scientific test of how the human dimension stacks up against and augments predictive machine learning.


And if you want to see the leading edge of this kind of thing, IARPA, which is the advanced projects skunkworks for the spy agencies like the NSA and CIA, has been working on searching through massive volumes of YouTube videos in a project named ALADDIN. An IARPA research bot may very well have already spidered through something you’ve uploaded....

SD Times

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has launched a competition challenging participants to design speech-recognition software that can decipher conversations and speech in noisy, echo-prone acoustic environments and recording scenarios.

Participants in either the single microphone or multi-microphone divisions of the contest will be provided approximately 10 hours of transcribed far-field microphone data from noisy, reverberant rooms. During one-week periods in early to mid-February the contestants will develop software to be judged by the objective metric of word error rate.