The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected research teams for a program that aims to create automated tools and techniques to help analysts detect, track and characterize online geopolitical influence campaigns.
DARPA said Thursday that research teams selected for the Influence Campaign Awareness and Sensemaking program will be led by Smart Information Flow Technologies, Protagonist Technology, Uncharted Software, Lockheed Martin, the University of Southern California, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Maryland Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security.
“As adversaries seek to exploit misinformation as well as real information delivered through influence messaging, US analysts need automated tools to help detect and make sense of adversary influence campaigns – enabling them to move away from largely manual and ad hoc approaches,” said Brian Kettler. , head of the Information Innovation Office program overseeing INCAS.
The INCAS program includes five research areas and teams led by Protagonist Technology, SIFT and ISI at the University of Southern California will focus on the first research area. In this technical area, the teams will develop tools for detecting indicators of geopolitical influence in online multilingual messaging tools.
ISI at the University of Southern California and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will lead the teams responsible for the second technical area which aims to develop techniques to segment the respondent population and determine demographic and psychographic attributes related to geopolitical influence.
Unchartered Software will oversee a group responsible for creating data modeling tools with human-machine interfaces to help facilitate comparison of campaign models.
Lockheed’s advanced technology labs will build a test bed and offer data streams to help research teams evaluate their INCAS tools.
ARLIS at the University of Maryland will design and conduct technical assessments, provide ground truth assessment data, and support transition assessment activities.