Every day we make decisions about whether the people and information sources around us are reliable, honest, and trustworthy – the person, their actions, what they say, a particular news source, or the actual information being conveyed. Often, the only tool to help us make those decisions are our own judgments based on current or past experiences.
For some in-person and virtual interactions there are tools to aid our judgments. These might include listening to the way someone tells a story, asking specific questions, looking at a user badge or rating system, asking for confirming information from other people - or in more formal settings, verifying biometrics or recording someone’s physiological responses, such as is the case with the polygraph. Each of these examples uses a very different type of tool to augment our ability to evaluate credibility. Yet there are no standardized and rigorous tests to evaluate how accurate such tools really are.
Countless studies have tested a variety of credibility assessment techniques and have attempted to use them to rigorously determine when a source and/or a message is credible and, more specifically, when a person is lying or telling the truth. Despite the large and lengthy investment in such research, a rigorous set of valid methods that are useful in determining the credibility of a source or their information across different applications remains difficult to achieve.
This challenge is focused on the methods used to evaluate credibility assessment techniques or technologies, rather than on the techniques or technologies themselves. In this context, a method is a detailed plan or set of actions that can be easily followed and replicated.
In this challenge, we ask that your solution is a method for conducting a study, which includes background information, the objectives of the research, study design, the logistics and means for running the study, and details about what data would be collected if your solution were implemented.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing the US Government’s Intelligence Community (IC). An important challenge facing the IC is knowing who, or what, is credible. By sharing this challenge with the Hero-X community, IARPA seeks to motivate good ideas from people with diverse backgrounds. Successful solutions could be used to inform future research efforts, to help the Government evaluate new tools, and to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be credible and how we can evaluate credibility across diverse domains – in person, in virtual spaces, and in the information and media we consume.
The challenge of developing a useful evaluation of credibility assessment techniques and technologies lies in the method’s design for drawing out real behavior, credible or not, from an individual or other source and then having a valid means to test it. This can be difficult as many current techniques involve actors or games where individuals may not feel that they need to be honest or do not truly act as they would in a real-life scenario. How to Get Involved