ODNI launches “Xpress” Automated Analysis Challenge

On May 15, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced the launch of its “Xpress” Automated Analysis Challenge.

The Intelligence Community is sponsoring a $500,000 prize competition to explore artificial intelligence approaches that would transform the process by which analysts currently support policymakers and warfighters through the research and generation of written products.

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—is launching its first challenge contest, “Xpress,” to explore AI-based opportunities for generating analytic products that surpass those crafted by traditional, highly-trained IC analysts. Leveraging private-sector momentum in this area will help ensure that the IC continues to employ cutting-edge methodologies and tools to quickly warn and inform policymakers in an ever more demanding and complex global environment.

“Given the pace and breadth of international activity, the IC’s analytic community is increasingly challenged to provide policymakers and warfighters with timely information and analysis on a growing number of targets and issues,” said Dr. David Isaacson, DS&T program manager for the challenge. “Xpress serves a critical role in exploring the potential for ‘machine analytics’ to enhance existing IC support to our nation’s decision makers, ultimately paving the way for analytic production to occur on a timeline and scale that IC analysts and their customers can scarcely imagine today.”

The Xpress Challenge seeks to stimulate the development of innovative algorithms that use a collection of press reporting to craft analytic products that identify the national security implications of a representative intelligence problem.

Challenge solvers’ machine-generated analytic products will be evaluated based on ODNI’s existing IC analytic tradecraft standards, for a total prize purse of $500,000. The top-performing algorithm will receive $100,000, with an additional $370,000 in prizes for the next four highest-performing algorithms and the best performance within specific technical areas. A further $30,000 in prize money will be awarded to the three highest-performing U.S. high school teams to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Beyond promoting early interest in STEM fields, challenges are widely recognized as a cost-efficient way to gather cross-disciplinary solutions to difficult problems. The deadline for final submissions is July 5, 2017.

With the Xpress Challenge, the ODNI and the OUSD(I) are advancing a key IC goal of stimulating technology-based capabilities for solving intelligence challenges today and in the future. To learn more about Xpress, including rules and eligibility requirements, visit the Xpress Challenge competition website at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933982

Source: ODNI