NGA releases GEOCOG BIG-R BAA topic
On October 22, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) released the BIG-R BAA Topic 5: Mapping the Human Element of Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) — Optimizing Analytic Workflow by Assessing Behavioral and Cognitive States (GEOCOG).
The government intends to host a “GEOCOG Industry Day Conference” in conjunction with this topic to outline challenges, concerns, and expectations to potential proposers within this new technology area. The industry day is planned for November 8.
Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT includes tasks involving collection, sense-making, and analysis of data and imagery to survey physical features, assess human activity, and make spatial decisions. GEOINT data and tools have dramatically increased in recent years, providing many options to complete different GEOINT tasks.
As a result, NGA is undergoing a human–systems interaction and integration paradigm shift. With the emergence of new automated algorithms and tools, combined with increased computing power, tasks that were once exclusively human now squarely fall within the machine system domain; while others can be partially performed by computing machines with oversight and inputs from humans in- or on- the loop being required for only specific aspects of the task.
By offloading and allocating numerous, routine tasks to automated computing systems, this new analytic teaming landscape promises information processing and decision making at mission speed and mission scale at orders of magnitude beyond the capability of humans. Finding the right balance in task allocation that maximizes the value from both humans and machines requires a rigorous, systematic approach to measure and track performance on multiple scales, the result being an effective functional allocation and human–machine teaming that augments analysts’ cognitive abilities (i.e., visuo-spatial attention, sense-making, and decision making) to fully execute missions with appropriate tools.
This topic seeks to assess the potential cognitive benefits and/or costs of introducing a new analytic tool, interaction or visualization method, and/or dataset into the analyst’s workflow through a multi-method approach to map the human element of GEOINT tradecraft — the GEOINT cognitive architecture (GEOCOG).
The primary objective of the GEOCOG program is to leverage advances in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience to improve GEOINT workflow effectiveness, augment sense-making, and optimize human performance under the rapidly evolving technology landscape. The purpose of GEOCOG is to investigate and develop low-cost, unobtrusive methods to objectively measure, estimate, and model analysts’ cognitive states during human–machine teaming for optimal performance. Specifically, GEOCOG seeks to develop human performance metrics to quantify the impact of new tools, datasets, and/or tradecraft on the efficacy of GEOINT workflows and the analyst’s capabilities.
The contractor shall develop and deliver a revolutionary platform prototype to capture quantitative data on user behaviors, task performance, and cognitive states and to analyze the impact of various automated technologies on human capabilities at much finer scales than the usual qualitative methods in practice today.
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