Predicting geopolitical events with greater accuracy the goal of IARPA, Raytheon project

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Raytheon BBN Technologies has been awarded a contract worth $14.5 million from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop a system that improves the accuracy of predicting a range of geopolitical events, including elections, conflict, and disease outbreak. The contract was previously awarded in 2017 during IARPA's Hybrid Forecasting Competition.

Raytheon BBN documents reveal that its hybrid forecasting system supplements human analysts' event forecasting models with the use of machines, which can more quickly process massive amounts of data to make unbiased forecasts. The Raytheon BBN system uses automated aids -- including intelligent search, automatically computed indicators, and alerts about changes or new information -- that increase human forecasters' efficiency; tools for sharing machine reasoning and results with human forecasters; and an automatic combination of varied human forecasts, with more weight assigned to predictions from historically accurate forecasters.

Raytheon BBN will act as lead contractor on a team that includes business-intelligence firm Lumenogic and nonprofit researcers Wright State Research Institute, who will contribute to the technology research. Subject-matter expertise related to elections and opinion, military events, science, disease outbreak, conflict and leadership and macroeconomics will be handled by the American Center for Democracy, Ipsos Public Affairs, Systems and Technology Research, and Tufts University.