Through the COVID-19 pandemic, a commonly heard phrase has been “trust the science.” The same can be said in the realm of intelligence. The more that scientific wisdom and quantitative analytic tools can be applied to the collection and analysis of raw data, the greater the likelihood that useful intelligence can be generated. This is particularly the case when it comes to exploiting the vast amounts of data available from open sources. Publicly available information or open source intelligence (OSINT) is accessible in all countries and from every group, even so-called hard targets such as North Korea and ISIS. When proven principles from the social and behavioral sciences are applied, in combination with sophisticated computer models, artificial intelligence and machine learning, OSINT can be an extremely valuable tool supporting government and commercial decision making. I have written more on advances in exploiting OSINT here.
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