Posts Tagged ‘IARPA’

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)

IARPA Overview


The Three Strategic Thrusts (Offices)


  • Smart Collection: dramatically improve the value of collected data
    • Innovative modeling and analysis approaches to identify where to look and what to collect
    • Novel approaches to access
  • Incisive Analysis: maximizing insight from the information we collect, in a timely fashion
    • Advanced tools and techniques that can handle large volumes of multiple and disparate sources of information
    • Innovative approaches (e.g., using virtual worlds, shared workspaces) that dramatically improve the productivity of analysts
    • Methods that incorporate socio-cultural and linguistic factors into the analytic process
  • Safe and Secure Operations: countering new capabilities of our adversaries that could threaten our ability to operate effectively in a networked world
    • Assure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our cyber systems
    • Quantum information science and technology

Quantum Science and Information Technology

  • Major milestones:
    • Demonstrate interacting logical qubits
    • Execute quantum circuits with thousands of operations
    • Optimize error correction codes for different qubit types
  • A scientific-scale quantum computer
    • Has several logical qubits & sustains several thousands of operations
    • Will let us ask and answer fundamental questions about quantum computing
    • Should inspire new quantum applications
  • Investment areas:
    • Development of robust qubit technology
  • Trapped ions, neutral atoms, photons, Josephson junctions, quantum dots, etc.
  • Faster and more accurate qubit initialization, measurement & manipulation, and qubit-qubit interactions
  • Supporting technologies
  • Better materials, device fabrication, detectors, etc.

IARPA Wants to Build “Data Eye in the Sky” For Analyzing Internet Activity

Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’ (New York Times):

More than 60 years ago, in his “Foundation” series, the science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov invented a new science — psychohistory — that combined mathematics and psychology to predict the future.

Now social scientists are trying to mine the vast resources of the Internet — Web searches and Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones — to do the same thing.

The most optimistic researchers believe that these storehouses of “big data” will for the first time reveal sociological laws of human behavior — enabling them to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability, just as physicists and chemists can predict natural phenomena.

“This is a significant step forward,” said Thomas Malone, the director of the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We have vastly more detailed and richer kinds of data available as well as predictive algorithms to use, and that makes possible a kind of prediction that would have never been possible before.”

The government is showing interest in the idea. This summer a little-known intelligence agency began seeking ideas from academic social scientists and corporations for ways to automatically scan the Internet in 21 Latin American countries for “big data,” according to a research proposal being circulated by the agency. The three-year experiment, to begin in April, is being financed by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or Iarpa (pronounced eye-AR-puh), part of the office of the director of national intelligence.

The automated data collection system is to focus on patterns of communication, consumption and movement of populations. It will use publicly accessible data, including Web search queries, blog entries, Internet traffic flow, financial market indicators, traffic webcams and changes in Wikipedia entries.

It is intended to be an entirely automated system, a “data eye in the sky” without human intervention, according to the program proposal. The research would not be limited to political and economic events, but would also explore the ability to predict pandemics and other types of widespread contagion, something that has been pursued independently by civilian researchers and by companies like Google.

Some social scientists and advocates of privacy rights are deeply skeptical of the project, saying it evokes queasy memories of Total Information Awareness, a post-9/11 Pentagon program that proposed hunting for potential attackers by identifying patterns in vast collections of public and private data: telephone calling records, e-mail, travel data, visa and passport information, and credit card transactions.

“I have Total Information Awareness flashbacks when things like this happen,” said David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., who has written about cooperation between social scientists and intelligence agencies. “On the one hand it’s understandable for a nation-state to want to track things like the outbreak of a pandemic, but I have to wonder about the total automation of this and what productive will come of it.”

*IARPA – Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity