IARPA

September 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite image of Sydney shows the variety of buildings dotting the landscape. Among the artificial intelligence (AI) research sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is an AI program designed to determine the functions of buildings just from looking at overhead imagery.

Geospatial imagery as well as facial recognition and other biometrics are driving the intelligence community’s research into artificial intelligence. Other intelligence activities, such as human language translation and event warning and forecasting, also stand to gain from advances being pursued in government, academic and industry research programs funded by the community’s research arm.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is working toward breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, or AI, through a number of research programs. All these AI programs tap expertise in government, industry or academia.

August 21, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Geospatial imagery as well as facial recognition and other biometrics are driving the intelligence community’s research into artificial intelligence. Other intelligence activities, such as human language translation and event warning and forecasting, also stand to gain from advances being pursued in government, academic and industry research programs funded by the community’s research arm.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is working toward breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, or AI, through a number of research programs. All these AI programs tap expertise in government, industry or academia.

July 17, 2017
IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the Functional Map of the World (fMoW) challenge, which officially kicks off in August.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the functional Map of the World (fMoW) Challenge, which officially kicks off in August. The challenge invites experts to develop deep learning and automation technologies to classify points of interest from satellite imagery. The goal is to promote research in object identification and classification to automatically identify facility, building and land use.

July 10, 2017

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host two proposers’ day conferences later this month in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in anticipation of new solicitations. 

The first, for the Homomorphic Encryption Computing Techniques with Overhead Reduction (HECTOR) program, will be held on July 26. The second, for the Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program, will be held the next day. Both will begin at 9:00 a.m.

June 28, 2017

SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., has announced it has been awarded a four-year $12.5 million contract by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) National Intelligence Directorate’s Odin Program to research and develop “dynamic biometrics” able to better detect attempts to evade or deceive biometric security systems, such as fingerprint, iris and face scanners. The ability to detect these so-called presentation attacks, which attempt to deceive security systems, addresses a critical weakness in current generation biometric security systems and can significantly expand biometric use cases.

June 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Diverse sciences ranging from forensics to nanoscale chemical sampling and storage are among the research opportunities being targeted by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to support future U.S. intelligence community activities. Some of these research areas are offered in a series of proposers’ days in advance of broad agency announcements, while others have passed that step and are in the request for information stage.

April 28, 2017

Forecasting data collected during the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's (IARPA’s) Aggregative Contingent Estimation (ACE) program by team Good Judgment is now available for use by the public and the research community via

April 24, 2017

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded a research contract in support of the Quantum Enhanced Optimization (QEO) program to an international team led by the University of Southern California. With the award, IARPA, which is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, embarked on a multi-year research effort to develop special-purpose algorithms and hardware that harness quantum effects to surpass conventional computing.

January 24, 2017

U.S. intelligence community researchers need technology capable of retrieving information from a multilingual repository and converting the data into English.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) released a broad agency announcement late last week for the Machine Translation for English Retrieval of Information in Any Language (MATERIAL) program. The program aims to develop an English-in, English-out capability in which questions asked in English are answered the same way. Proposals are due March 20.

December 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, has selected its winners from its crowd-sourced Multi-View Stereo 3-D Mapping Challenge—a contest to see who could best convert satellite photos into 3-D models to create more accurate maps.

The top challenge solvers demonstrated their solutions during an all-day workshop Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The open source solutions were released during the event and will be made available to the public on an IARPA website.

November 9, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) announced the public release of the Accurate Events from Natural Text (ACCENT) technology. ACCENT is a state-of-the-art automated event coder capable of identifying nearly 300 types of sociopolitical events in text. IARPA hopes the software release will spur increased activity in the research community.

October 28, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) recently released the Virtuous User Environment (VirtUE) broad agency announcement. The goal of the VirtUE program is to create and demonstrate a more secure interactive user computing environment by leveraging the federal government’s impending migration to commercial cloud-based information technology infrastructures and the current explosion of new virtualization and operating system concepts.

Proposals are due December 12.

July 6, 2016

An intelligence-based research agency has launched a challenge to foster a community of participants that will produce a solution to accurately produce 3-D mapping from satellite photos.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, set in motion its Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge, inviting the broader research community of industry and academia, with or without experience in multiview satellite imagery, to participate in a non-contractual way.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Atlas V lifts National Reconnaissance Office Launch-55, carrying a classified satellite and 13 CubeSats into orbit late last year. The increasing use of digital technologies in intelligence has compelled the CIA to create a new directorate dedicated to incorporating digital innovation across the agency.

The CIA’s newest directorate consolidates several technology business units into one hub organization focused on deeply embracing innovative approaches and capabilities throughout the agency. As part of an effort to make digitization commonplace in both operations and analysis, the CIA also will work with industry to speed up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. To start, the agency will add some of the latest data capabilities in the infosphere, and then it will nurture new technologies as they emerge from laboratories in government and industry. 

April 5, 2016
An IARPA program will study the human brain in an effort to make machines smarter.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded an $18.7 million contract to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, as part of a larger project with Baylor College of Medicine and Princeton University, to create the largest-ever road map to understand how the function of networks in the brain’s cortex relates to the underlying connections of its individual neurons. The project is part of the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) program, which seeks to revolutionize machine learning by reverse-engineering the algorithms of the brain.

April 29, 2016

A group of University of Maryland (UMD) researchers has developed an algorithm that can not only detect a face, but also simultaneously determine the gender and pose, and extract fiducial, or reference, points.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has provided funding and support for the invention, which has been dubbed HyperFace. The algorithm simultaneously detects faces; finds facial landmarks, including eye center, nose tip, etc.; estimates the head pose; and recognizes the person’s gender from any real-world images and videos, Rama Chellappa, UMD chair of electrical and computer engineering, said in a written announcement.

April 18, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, College Park, Maryland, selected Dr. Stacey Dixon as deputy director.

March 2, 2016

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a team led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) a $9.4 million contract to develop a component of a novel geolocation system that will detect and locate communications and other high-frequency signals with unprecedented accuracy. The program, funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), will integrate a high-fidelity ionospheric model with a geolocation system for the first time to achieve this level of precision.

February 22, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has released a broad agency announcement (BAA) seeking proposals to develop, and experimentally test, systems that use crowdsourcing and structured analytic techniques to improve analytic reasoning. At the same time, the organization released three requests for information and announced a March 11 proposers’ day for the Odin program, which is developing methods for detecting attempts to disguise a person’s biometric identity.

December 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Mongolian troops participate in a riot-control exercise during Khaan Quest 2015 in Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s predictive analytics programs seek to improve forecasting for a variety of events, including civil unrest and political uprisings.

U.S. intelligence agencies are in the business of predicting the future, but no one has systematically evaluated the accuracy of those predictions—until now. The intelligence community’s cutting-edge research and development agency uses a handful of predictive analytics programs to measure and improve the ability to forecast major events, including political upheavals, disease outbreaks, insider threats and cyber attacks.

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