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Air Force, Oklahoma U Team Up For $10.7M Intelligence Training Game

The Air Force Research Lab is teaming up with researchers at Oklahoma University to design a game aimed at training intelligence analysts to ignore their biases in making crucial decisions.
The Air Force Research Lab is teaming up with researchers at Oklahoma University to design a game aimed at training intelligence analysts to ignore their biases in making crucial decisions. The $10.7 million project -- codenamed MACBETH for "Mitigating Analysts Cognitive Bias by Eliminating Task Heuristics" -- will result in a game called "Intelligence Crisis," putting players in the shoes of an intelligence analyst by gathering evidence and interview witnesses. The project is being headed by Oklahoma University communications professor Norah Dunbar and Innovative Technologies associate director Scott Wilson, who will oversee a team of full time coders and students to deliver a prototype within nine months. Research groups from the Universities of Arizona and Wisconsin will also be providing support for the project. "It was really incredible to see the amount of collaboration between social scientists, video game experts and intelligence specialists," communications grad student Kylie Harrison said in an announcement. This isn't the first time the Air Force has been involved with game development -- the military branch has previously commissioned titles ranging from training tools to games aimed at preventing phishing attacks. The U.S. Army also has a long tradition of using game-based training simulations, and has used the America's Army game series as a recruiting tool since 2002. Earlier this year, the U.S. Secret Service replaced training tools based on scale tabletop models with fully interactive computer simulations. Since 2002, the Army has used the America's Army series of games as a freely downloadable recruiting tool.

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