The Future of Spy Technology: IARPA

Posted By on March 22, 2016


We’ve seen the Bond movies and have been intrigued by the technology that helps his galavant around the world engaging in spycraft.

In The Future of Spy Technology: IARPA we look at a place that Q would likely feel at home – Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

This organization invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the Intelligence Community (IC) .

Founded in 2006, IARPA was modeled after the hugely successful advanced R&D arm of the Pentagon, DARPA. IARPA works on the big crazy ideas.

IARPA has over 30 current research projects that are pushing the boundaries of research. You can see the full list here:


The list includes things like super-quiet drones, a computer that translates any language with speech recognition, and exa-flot speed computers Here’s a few from the list:

  • SHARP Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-Solving – Cognition, psychometrics, fluid reasoning and intelligence, neuroscience, human performance
  • Janus – Computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition, biometrics, facial recognition, identity intelligence, computer graphics
  • HFC – Forecasting, human judgment, machine learning, decision making, human/machine interfaces, text analysis
  • KRNS Knowledge Representation in Neural Systems – Knowledge discovery, brain, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive bias, judgment, decision making, behavioral science, human factors, training, tradecraft, data sense-making, linguistics, language, semantics, culture
  • Babel – Multilingual/multidialectal speech recognition, keyword search algorithms, speech recognition in noisy environments, low resource languages, rapid adaptation to new languages and environments, machine learning
  • Core3D – Mulit-view satellite image processing, multi-modal information fusion, deep learning, remote sensing, photogrammetry, image segmentation and classification, multispectral imagery processing, and geospatial volumetric 3D data representation methods

See the full list:

You can see more insights and interviews in this Popular Mechanics article.


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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