Imagine how happy I was six months later to hear about a formalized and much easier way to bring outside expertise into the IC thanks to the dedicated efforts of a few intelligence professionals and the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis. Appropriately enough, this project is named BRIDGE.
Since BRIDGE is Dan’s brainchild, I’ve asked him to convey its purpose and function:
BRIDGE is designed to enable crowd-sourcing of intelligence applications–following the iPhone AppStore model–by providing a low barrier-to-entry platform to stimulate innovation and enable analysts to discover next generation capabilities that have value to their mission.
BRIDGE takes the Wiki model which enabled end users to easily contribute textual content en masse, and extends it to technology providers, enabling them to contribute technologies that enhance the intelligence mission in a matter of days. It is important to emphasize BRIDGE is not a Web2.0 tool, it is a low barrier to entry environment where promising Web2.0 tools can be placed – and analysts can use them to uncover their value prior to acquisition.
Since BRIDGE exposes key web services that emulate the mission environment, promising tools can be plucked from BRIDGE and quickly integrated into classified environments. This enables providers to develop against these endpoints in an unclassified setting, get feedback from users enabling shorter development spirals, mash-up new combinations of services, and dramatically reduce the time it takes to transition software to the mission setting. BRIDGE uses a “perpetual beta” model giving users an EARLY look at technologies–and a chance to provide feedback while they are still maturing.
Another unique characteristic of BRIDGE is that it provides an environment for Analytic Outreach–a place where IC analysts can reach out to expertise elsewhere in federal, state, and local government, in academia, and industry. New communities of interest can form quickly in BRIDGE through the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œweb of trustÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â access control model–access to minds outside the intelligence community creates an analytic force multiplier.
Here are three of the six applications currently in use on BRIDGE. Dan tells me that dozens more are on the way.
Collaborative Analysis of Competing Hypotheses
HotGrinds serves as an evidence-based structured discourse forum at the crossroads of a wiki, a collaboration platform and social network
Semantic search, expertise identification, and management overviews of debate provide greater collective awareness and enhanced collaboration
Visually Structured Analytic Software
One of the new applications coming up will be a Web-based version of Palantir Technologies‘ Analytic Platform