UK's Cosmic Bazaar and U.S.' INFER Forecasting Collaboration is Launched

By Adam Siegel on February 20, 2023

We were thrilled to see a couple different projects we have the opportunity to work on come together in a first of its kind partnership last week. For the past 3 years, the UK Government has run "Cosmic Bazaar," which was detailed in the Economist as their official government-wide crowdsourced forecasting program focused on national security and geopolitical issues. 

More recently, the U.S. Government funded University Affiliated Research Center ARLIS (Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security) at the University of Maryland launched INFER (INtegrated Forecastasting and Estimates of Risk) to create an ecosystem of forecasting platforms inside and outside the Government. INFER's goal is to bring more diverse, outside perspectives to policymakers in the hopes of challenging conventional wisdom, creating a shared view of the pivotal factors that influence global events, and quantifying and prioritizing risks to the U.S. Government's national security priorities.  

One of the advantages of crowdsourced forecasting we've always touted is its ability to seamlessly break down organization silos. In this case, collaboration between these two programs may truly be opening new avenues of interaction.

Here's more information from the INFER blog announcing the partnership:

INFER is pleased to announce a collaboration with Cosmic Bazaar, the crowdsourced forecasting program run by the UK’s Professional Head of Intelligence Assessment (PHIA). Both programs, which represent the largest running forecasting efforts to support the U.S. government and British government, respectively, will synthesize and compare forecasting outputs on an identical set of questions focusing on critical science and technology topics.Cosmic Bazaar was created by the British government to improve the rigor of its intelligence analysis. It involves 2,000 forecasters from 41 government departments and several allied countries...The goal of the collaboration is to leverage the unique perspectives of our collective forecaster pool from inside and outside the intelligence community – and to expand the diversity of insights to strengthen intelligence and policy decisions.

Read the full blog post here.