IARPA in the News

Wall Street Journal

Analysts for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and more than a dozen other government organizations depend on their ability to forecast national and global events to help ward off various threats to the country, but old-style approaches can produce flawed results.

To improve quality, the government has taken the unusual step of running tournaments that invite people outside the intelligence community to develop better ways to forecast world events, and several have produced notable results.


Financial Times

Billions of dollars are spent on experts who claim they can forecast what’s around the corner, in business, finance and economics. Most of them get it wrong. Now a groundbreaking study has unlocked the secret: it IS possible to predict the future – and a new breed of ‘superforecasters’ knows how to do it....

The entire exercise was given the name of the Good Judgment Project, and the aim was to find better ways to see into the future.

The early years of the forecasting tournament have, wrote Tetlock, “already yielded exciting results”....

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Around about 2005, you couldn’t shake a stick in Washington without hitting a political consultant who was focus-grouping your stick-shaking metaphor to see whether it provided better "framing" than his opponent’s. The inspiration for the framing craze, George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant!, argued that the Democrats lost in 2004 because they ignored the importance of frames: subconscious structures that determine why people vote the way they do, and that can be activated through abstract linguistic triggers like "family values" or "death tax."

Business Solutions

Video analytics—the automated analysis of terabytes of video content—has a proven track record helping investigators to glean information from surveillance cameras, recognize faces in a crowd, or zoom in on the license plates of suspects. However, researchers know they need more advanced capabilities and software algorithms to go beyond detection and tracking and really understand the relationships between objects in video footage.


While the Intelligence Community (IC) is often portrayed in a negative spotlight in the media, it is actually a quiet driver of new innovations that support our national security efforts.

The Atlantic

Several years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency got wind of a technique called transcranial direct-current stimulation, or tDCS, which promised something extraordinary: a way to increase people’s performance in various capacities, from motor skills (in the case of recovering stroke patients) to language learning, all by stimulating their brains with electrical current. The simplest tDCS rigs are little more than nine-volt batteries hooked up to sponges embedded with metal and taped to a person’s scalp.

NBC News

Get ready for a new generation of intelligent photo filters that do more than just tint your shot. A program created by Brown University computer scientists lets you choose from dozens of attributes to tweak — making a rainy day sunny, for instance, or making a dull photograph more "mysterious." All it takes is a single command, and the program figures out the rest.