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IARPA, ARA Launch Crowdsourcing Website for Event Forecasting; Dirk Warnaar Comments

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The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and research firm Applied Research Associates launched a crowdsourcing website for geopolitical forecasting, BBC reports.

The Global Crowd Intelligence website is presented like a spy game where users go on “missions” to predict future political events.

The project is intended to test the  “wisdom of the crowds” and see if crowdsourcing is a viable option for intelligence agencies to predict future events.

Program Principal Investigator Dirk Warnaar said the project is just like weather forecasting, although not perfect, it can provide useful information.

Warnaar added that although all users can provide forecasts, not each one will be used.

The IARPA project is patterned after Applied Research Associate’s Forecasting Ace website where 2,000 users make predictions about different topics such as space exploration and political elections.

According to the BBC, the project is yielding results. Warnaar says, they were able to show that the crowdsourced forecasts were 25% more accurate than forecasts produced by a control group in the first year and they hope that number rises to 50% next year.

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