DARPA releases MIPs funding opp

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is issuing an Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) Opportunity inviting submissions of innovative basic or applied research concepts in the technical domain of influence messaging pathways in a dynamic ecosystem of the information environment. Responses are due by 4:00 p.m. Eastern on June 2.

Influence pathways are the dynamic means by which coordinated influence messaging flows across online and traditional broadcast (“offline”) media platforms and communities. For example, in the 1980s, disinformation that AIDS was a U.S. bioweapon spread from less reputable newspapers to more reputable ones as interest in the story grew. Similar narratives emerged and propagated during the Ebola and COVID pandemics of 2014 and 2019, respectively, at a much larger scale and speed, over newspapers, broadcast, and social media. False narratives about U.S. bioweapons in Ukraine have recently reemerged and are being propagated by a variety of actors (e.g., foreign states, fringe groups) via multimedia messaging across a number of online and offline platforms and communities.

Understanding the pathways by which different types of information propagate across the information ecosystem is important. In addition, identifying patterns that emerge among these pathways, such as the propagation from certain niche platforms to more mainstream platforms, is essential to understanding influence operations. MIPs is exploring AI technologies for (1) connecting various identified influence messaging flows across platforms; (2) learning, mapping, and modeling which pathways are used by what types of information; and (3) discovering patterns that characterize these pathways.

MIPs will complement various DARPA efforts by providing a higher (ecosystem) level of analysis than the following programs:

  • INfluence Campaign Awareness and Sensemaking (INCAS) – discovery of individual campaigns;
  • Semantic Forensics/Media Forensics (SemaFor/MediFor) – individual messages; and
  • Social Simulation for Evaluating Online Messaging Campaigns (SocialSim) – individual platforms, high-resolution social network analysis.

MIPs seeks to connect information flows into pathways used to disseminate and amplify mis-, dis-, and manipulated information.

Review DARPA’s full MIP funding opportunity.

Source: SAM

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