IARPA launches crowdsourcing research effort

WASHINGTON. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced that it is embarking on a multiyear research effort to develop and test large-scale, structured collaboration methods to improve reasoning. If the project is successful, the Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (known as "CREATE") program will improve analysts’ and decisionmakers’ understanding of the evidence and assumptions that support or conflict with their conclusions.

The agency is confident that the knowledge gained through this project will improve its ability to provide accurate, timely, and well-supported analyses of the complex issues and questions facing the community.

"CREATE will combine crowdsourcing with structured techniques to improve reasoning on complex analytic issues," states Steven Rieber, IARPA program manager. "The resulting technology will be valuable not just to intelligence analysis but also to science, law, and policy -- in fact, to any domain where people must think their way through complex questions.” IARPA believes that the CREATE program will help analysts explain to decisionmakers why judgments were made, why seemingly plausible alternatives were rejected, and the major gaps in what is known; CREATE also intends to develop and test structured crowdsourcing platforms that meet these needs.

IARPA has awarded CREATE’s contracts to teams led by George Mason University, Syracuse University, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), and the University of Melbourne. In addition, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and Good Judgment, Inc. (New York, N.Y.) will work together to independently test the resulting platforms and systems.

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