The Department of Defense's tech incubator is looking for a few bright minds to revolutionize how the military uses social networks
Do you spend hours a day on Facebook? Can you sniff out Twitter memes before they become full-fledged trending topics? Good news: the Pentagon is looking for someone like you.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the DoD progenitors of revolutionary tech like passive radar and the Internet, is calling for research applications of social media to strategic communication. According to an agency announcement (PDF), DARPA is looking to shell out $42 million in funding for "innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems." The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base.
In short, the Pentagon wants to up its intelligence game to keep pace with the constantly expanding, interwoven latticework of connections in the social space. The military wants to be able to track the formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts, use linguistic clues to ferret out purposeful or deceptive misinformation, and use sentiment analysis and opinion mining to extrapolate, for example, where the next Arab revolution might take place, or identify credible (or debunked) threats reverberating across cyberspace.