IARPA in the News

Defense One

Super strong mechanical appendages and brain implants are common fixtures of a science-fictional future. More and more, American veterans are arriving at that future before the rest of us. As a result of military-funded programs, vets are becoming the research platform for cybernetic technologies that are decades beyond commercial state of the art and that could one day elevate humanity beyond its natural biological limitations....

It’s all feel-good work that virtually any American can support, and does, though the Obama administration’s Brain Initiative, a multi-year effort funneling money to a variety of public and private institutions, also including the NIH, the FDA and IARPA.

The New York Times

Google is giving its Flu Trends service an overhaul — “a brand new engine,” as it announced in a blog post on Friday.

The new thing is actually traditional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is being integrated into the Google flu-tracking model. The goal is greater accuracy after the Google service had been criticized for consistently over-estimating flu outbreaks in recent years.

The main critique came in an analysis done by four quantitative social scientists, published earlier this year in an article in Science magazine, “The Parable of Google Flu: Traps in Big Data Analysis.” The researchers found that the most accurate flu predictor was a data mash-up that combined Google Flu Trends, which monitored flu-related search terms, with the official C.D.C. reports from doctors on influenza-like illness.

Financial Times

Among the new participants announced this month is the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, which interests itself in US national security. In August it invited academics to submit ideas on “brain-based predictors of future cognitive performance”. In particular, the agency wanted to know, could brain structure and function be measured in such a way as to “predict who will best learn complex skills and accomplish tasks within real-world environments . . . that are relevant to national security”?

MIT News

Computer chips with superconducting circuits — circuits with zero electrical resistance — would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today’s chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption of the massive data centers that power the Internet’s most popular sites....

In the latest issue of the journal Nano Letters, MIT researchers present a new circuit design that could make simple superconducting devices much cheaper to manufacture....

McCaughan and Berggren’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the Director of National Intelligence’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

ExecutiveGov

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has selected Troy Lau and Scott Kuzdeba’s scientific approach to predict human behavior as the winner of the agency’s first public challenge.

Lau and Kuzdeba developed the Joint Estimation of Deception Intent via Multisource Integration of Neuropsychological Discriminators tool through use of combined statistical methods under the Investigating Novel Statistical Techniques to Identify Neurophysiological Correlates of Trustworthiness program, IARPA said Thursday.

NetworkWorld

Two researchers with BAE Systems’ Adaptive Reasoning Technologies Group have taken home a $25,000 prize for developing an algorithm that can help detect who's trustworthy and who isn't.

The algorithm – known as JEDI MIND--was developed as part of crowdsourcing challenge that took place between nearly 40 competitors backed by The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity (IARPA) group.

The Missoulian

Karen Ruth Adams stood before a Model United Nations class at the University of Montana on Tuesday, preparing students for careers in public policy, international affairs and high school teaching.

While far away from Washington, D.C., this academic environment is fitting for Adams, a professor of political science and scholar who has earned a reputation for predicting world events before they happen.

Given her skills, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and its Good Judgment Project recognized Adams as a “super forecaster.” It’s a lighthearted term with serious implications, capable of changing how the U.S. intelligence community tracks crises around the world.