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Army Research Office Grant to Fund Study to Improve Intelligence Analysis with AI

By Maryland Today Staff

A three-year, $616,700 grant from the Army Research Office will fund a University of Maryland-led team examining how intelligence analysts can improve their work by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled systems.

AI could help review greater volumes of material, help extract key findings and assemble them into actionable intelligence, while aiding in the accuracy and efficiency of analysts’ work. But increased use of AI might also have drawbacks, and the project, led by Research Professor Susannah Paletz of the College of Information Studies, will focus on how interactive AI agents, such as chatbots, mitigate or exacerbate the communication and coordination problems that can occur with shift handovers of intelligence work, such as inaccuracy blindness and the overlooking of potentially relevant information. It will also examine how humans could potentially deal with these blind spots, biases or inaccuracies.

The research team plans to develop an experimental infrastructure to help test analyst team cognition challenges to provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of AI technology to support intelligence tasks, help shed light on how and when human analysts can safely place their trust in AI technology, and how they can identify problems in AI-generated input.

“We want to develop a task that can raise the problems with asynchronous team cognition in intelligence tasks, but is simple enough to be used by research participants with minimal training,” said Paletz, an affiliate at the UMD Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS).

The female-led, female-majority research team also includes co-principal investigator Adam Porter, a professor of computer science and executive and scientific director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering, other Fraunhofer USA researchers, several UMD doctoral students and a Duquesne University business professor.

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