Intelligence Community launches “Xtend” analytic evaluation challenge

The Intelligence Community is sponsoring a $75,000 prize competition to explore opportunities for artificial intelligence and other machine-based approaches to transform the process by which IC analytic products are reviewed and evaluated prior to their dissemination to policymakers and warfighters.

The Office of the Director of Science and Technology within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—in partnership with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence—announced on November 16 that it is launching its second challenge contest, “Xtend,” to explore AI-based opportunities for evaluating analytic products. Xtend’s focus on machine-based evaluation is designed to complement the focus on machine-based product generation in the jointly-sponsored ODNI-OUSD(I) Xpress Challenge, released earlier this year.

“Today’s human-based evaluation approaches are often subjective and introduce latency that constrains the IC’s ability to produce effective and timely intelligence products, and may inhibit potential gains offered by emerging approaches such as that demonstrated with the Xpress Challenge,” said Dr. David Isaacson, DS&T program manager for the challenge. “The Xtend Challenge will not only help the IC to determine the current state of the art in this area, it will also help the Community to identify and begin to address the relevant research challenges.”

The Xtend Challenge asks solvers to describe an approach for enabling the machine-based evaluation of finished intelligence production. Solvers must provide a well-supported, technology-based justification describing how the proposed solution could—at a minimum—rapidly and objectively evaluate 1-2 page analytic intelligence products against existing IC standards with minimal or no human intervention. Further, the solvers should describe their solution in the context of allowing analysts and analytic managers to understand and accept the solution and be able to evaluate the solution in terms of its trustworthiness, with minimal additional training.

Challenge solvers’ approaches will be evaluated by a team of IC and Department of Defense scientists, engineers, and other technical experts. The initial prize purse is $25,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. The deadline for final submissions is January 15, 2018. After the close of the challenge, an additional award pool of $50,000 will be available for Solvers who are able to provide, upon request from ODNI and OUSD(I), more detailed information such as a pseudo-code implementation of their proposed solution.

With the Xtend Challenge, the ODNI and the OUSD(I) are advancing the IC’s mission of stimulating technology-based capabilities for solving intelligence challenges today and in the future.

To learn more about Xtend, including rules and eligibility requirements, visit the Xtend Challenge competition website at .

Source: ODNI