IARPA in the News

Bloomberg News

What are they thinking?

The intelligence community, it appears, is in the market for thinking caps.

In the interest of improving “reasoning and problem-solving,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has hired some high-level talent to conduct some research into the question of how sharper thinking might help out with the complex problems they face there.

Chicago Tribune

We announce the launch of SciCast, a federally funded research and development project run by George Mason University to develop new methods for improving the accuracy of science and technology forecasts.

SciCast invites scientists, technologists, and technology watchers around the world to forecast key science and technology trends, and contribute relevant forecasting questions.

NBC News

In Steven Spielberg's futuristic "Minority Report," Tom Cruise's character sees a custom ad for Guinness after his face is scanned in the year 2054. Similar technology, however, isn't science fiction. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus let people unlock their phones with a glance in 2011, while Apple was awarded a patent on Tuesday for facial recognition technology that could find its way into a future iPhone. Tesco has already installed high-tech screens at some of its gas stations in the U.K. that serve up custom ads after determining a person's gender and approximate age. And in September, Facebook announced that it might expand the use of its facial recognition software to help tag photos of its more than 1 billion members.


In my Insights piece last week, “Is Innovation Predictable?”, I had mentioned innovation analytics (or what should be more precisely termed as meta innovation analytics) though, regretfully, given that important area a short shrift. As it so happened, a commenter on that post mentioned the Soviet TRIZ system (h/t Etaoin Shrdlu) which could very well have been the world’s first meta innovation analysis framework. So as a follow-up to my last week’s post, today I want to talk about how innovation can be predicted (as opposed to whether we can predict innovation) in terms of such frameworks.

International Science Times

Facial recognition has become an increasingly common element in security surveillance, enabling identification of faces in images taken from a distance and in a crowd. But facial recognition is just a step along the way to more and better identification techniques being sought by the U.S. government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). The agency has challenged top research teams to revolutionize how machines recognize people with a competition announced Nov. 8, according to New Scientist magazine.


CAMERAS are strewn around our environment, catching glimpses of our faces everywhere we go, yet even the best facial recognition technology still has a hard time picking us out of the crowd. So the US government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has called for a new approach. The agency announced a contest on 8 November, challenging teams of the country's top researchers to revolutionise how machines recognise people. Those entering the competition already know that conventional facial recognition won't cut it.


Cups are for drinking and can hold water, tea or coffee. That is how our brain conceptualizes entities and their relationships and properties. Our brain uses its relationship of conceptual knowledge to solve problems and make inferences. Now, when you think national intelligence, your first conceptualization probably isn’t the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, but the agency within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced Nov. 26 it is embarking on a multiyear research effort to learn more about how our brain represents conceptual knowledge.