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DARPA – Intrinsic Cognitive Security (ICS) – HR001124S0002

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DARPA – Intrinsic Cognitive Security (ICS) – HR001124S0002


The DARPA Information Innovation Office is seeking innovative proposals in computational science to build tactical mixed reality systems that protect human users against cognitive attack.  It is anticipated that the program will adapt existing languages and tools rather than invent entirely new techniques.

Commercial mixed reality systems today apply cognitive engineering principles during system development, but those principles are not used to ensure how MR systems operate when facing an adversary intent on interfering with a mission.  Traditional methods used in current DoD systems to address sensor and cybersecurity threats do not address user cognitive effects. As commercial MR technologies are increasingly adapted for diverse DoD missions, protection for users is needed.

The program is a 36 month effort, with two phases of 18 months each, with two technical areas being addressed:

TA1 – Mixed Reality Cognition – Cognitive Guarantees securing users of mixed reality systems and Cognitive Models for reasoning about users of mixed reality systems

TA2 – Evaluation – of efficacy of models, proofs and guarantees.

It is expected that multiple awards will be made in Technical Area 1, with a single award in Technical Area 2.

Guarantees and associated models are expected to address mixed reality user issues in five categories:

  1. Physiology – issues that cause acute or chronic health effects on users eg nausea, dizziness, headaches
  2. Perception – issues that lead users to misapprehend information eg interfering with accurately knowing location, masking real-world events
  3. Attention – issues that degrade user mission performance through confusing or distracting information eg unimportant alarms, highlighting irrelevant information
  4. Confidence – issues that cause users to doubt virtual or real-world information eg presenting inconsistent data, information overload
  5. Status – issues that allow an adversary to inappropriately leverage data the user has shared with the systems eg sharing sensitive data.

Abstracts are highly encouraged and must be submitted by 2 November 2023.

Full submissions are due 20 December 2023.


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Broad Agency Announcement – ICS : HR001124S0002