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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crowdsourcing Intel

After reading this, I'm wondering if this means that average Americans will be able to contribute and parse information that will help assist our intelligence agencies that are literally overflowing with data?

It seems that this is the idea.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, just released its budget for the upcoming year. And, as you might expect from the Pentagon’s way-out science and technology division, there are some wild new projects on tap.

Military analysts are already overwhelmed by too much information. Instead of training more analysts or handing data over to computers, Darpa wants to improve how the military uses its intelligence info by turning it into an open call for contribution. The $13 million dollar project, called “Deep ISR Processing by Crowds,” looks “to harness the unique cognitive and creative abilities of large numbers of people to enhance dramatically the knowledge derived from ISR systems.”

Crowdsourcing is already used among businesses and other government agencies, to generate more innovative ideas that draw on as many sources as possible. Darpa wants that innovation to take over individual analysis and decision-making.

And while Crowdsourcing works well across other platforms, one has to wonder how intel could be corrupted with so many other voices adding their input. Then again, the more input you have into a project, the more innovative it can become.

Should this project get off the ground and have successful field tests to show, it will be interesting to see how some within the conservative realm view this new era of intelligence analysis. Will this be used by them as a tool to prevent progress in the intel world? Will they say that this would end up aiding the terrorists? We will most certainly see.

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