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Using Big Data For Social Good

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

Big data and data mining can be used for social good.

The IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) is a US government organization which develops analytical programs and event modeling profiles based on large data sets.

In general terms, IARPA develops technology for the NSA (National Security Agency), similar to what DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) does for the military.

They have recently declassified their ” Open Source Indicators (OSI) ” program :

The OSI Program aims to develop methods for continuous, automated analysis of publicly available data in order to anticipate and/or detect significant societal events, such as political crises, humanitarian crises, mass violence, riots, mass migrations, disease outbreaks, economic instability, resource shortages, and responses to natural disasters.

Performers will be evaluated on the basis of warnings that they deliver about real-world events. If successful, OSI methods will “beat the news” by fusing early indicators of events from multiple publicly available data sources and types.

As more data becomes publicly available, and freely shared by users of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. the IARPA is able to build a larger information matrix. Coupling this with other real-time information such as search queries and stock market activity, their OSI algorithms can continuously search for patterns and predict possible scenarios with associated degrees of probability.

More about IARPA:

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries. IARPA works very closely with the various members of the Intelligence Community (IC) to ensure that its programs address relevant future needs and to facilitate the transition of demonstrated capabilities.

However, IARPA is not an operational organization, and it neither collects raw intelligence nor produces and disseminates intelligence analyses. To ensure organizational agility, IARPA focuses on long-term, 3-5 year programs rather than the short-term time horizons.

IARPA tackles some of the most difficult challenges across the intelligence agencies and disciplines, and results from its programs are expected to transition to its IC customers. IARPA does not have an operational mission and does not deploy technologies directly to the field.

(Image Credit – IARPA)

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