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­niversity Studies Crowdsourcing For Intelligence

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MIT News Office

The U.S. intelligence community is studying how to tap the power of crowdsourcing through a multi-university effort.

George Mason University professors Charles Twardy and Kathryn Laskey are organizing an online team of more than 500 forecasters who make educated guesses about a series of world events. Their team will vie with four other teams at several universities for grant money supplied by the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

IARPA's Cherreka Montgomery says the goal of the project is to enhance crowdsourcing so that it is useful to intelligence analysts. If analysts can apply crowdsourcing toward better predictions of the outcome of seemingly unpredictable world events, they can help policymakers be prepared and develop smarter responses. Twardy says the research eventually could help world leaders make more informed decisions in the face of global crises.

George Mason's Decomposition-based Aggregation program seeks to deconstruct world events into their basic elements, and have the scholars overseeing the program use the data in a way that people with disparate knowledge bases can help guide each other to the most accurate prediction.

From Associated Press
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