One of the intelligence practices that GreyLogic analysts like to engage in is predicting where future threats may emerge. Prediction of future threats is part science, part art and it always finds an audience inside the Beltway (for better or for worse).
Personally, I think threat forecasts are a lot like weather forecasts. The further out you go, the less likely it is to happen thanks to the chaotic nature of the universe that we are all a part of. Today, however, I'm privileged to be able to tell you a little about a stealth startup that tackles this challenge in an elegant, effective, and surprisingly simple way: RecordedFuture.com.
Here's a brief description provided by the company:
Recorded Future is a new startup founded in 2009 and headquartered in theWhat I really love about the user interface is its ease of use. There are three text windows to make selections in:
Boston area. The young company has 15 employees in various corners of the globe
and the boldness to tackle a hard problem- organize the web in a radically new
and useful way. Many web pages, online news articles and blog posts talk about
time, for example reports of what's transpired, and statements of what's
expected to come. Recorded Future's sophisticated linguistic and statistic
algorithms extract time-related information and through temporal reasoning helps
you understand the relationship between entities and events over time, to form
the world's first temporal analytics engine.
WhatAs I mentioned in an earlier post on my own blog, I'm more of a "symbologist" than a technologist, and this mechanism reminds me of the ancient Chinese oracle called the Yi Jing or "Book of Changes" with its use of three coins as the querying process. In both "applications", this deceptively simple process has the beneficial effect of forcing the user to re-think what it is that she really wants to know. For a criminal prosecutor, those 3 questions might be Means, Motive, and Opportunity. For a reporter, it might be Who, What, and Where.
Who (or Where)
As a disclaimer, I should add that GreyLogic is in discussions with RecordedFuture to provide it with our intelligence data stream on state and non-state actors and the global cyber threatscape.
The point is, exercises in predicting future trends or unforseen threats often suffer from the data equivalent of ADHD. By forcing the user to think through a search query in terms of three key buckets is, in my experience, a significant breakthrough on the part of the RecordedFuture.com team. This is definitely a company and an application that you want to keep an eye on.