Futures Lab

Embracing data science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and alternative analysis to revolutionize policy-driven research

Banner image: Dr. Benjamin Jensen/Created using the Midjourney web app

The Futures Lab

Our goal is to add empirical rigor to foresight and policy analysis through the integration of computational social science methods. A changing world calls for new research methods that unlock diverse perspectives and creativity. While our focus is on the changing character of competition and conflict, our scholars have helped teams unlock insights on geoeconomics, innovation, development, migration, and human security as well. We conduct independent research, convene experts from diverse backgrounds, and offer robust reports with tailored policy recommendations that inform decision-making in a rapidly evolving landscape. Bring us your questions, concerns, and data and we will help you visualize and describe alternative futures.

Data Science and Forecasting

Look back to look ahead. The baseline prediction for any possible future starts with understanding past patterns and trends. The Futures Lab uses a diverse mix of statistical forecasting techniques to analyze how systems can change over time.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Elevate insight with AI. The Futures Lab employs a novel mix of AI/ML models, ranging from natural language processing to generative AI models to analyze continuity and change in the trends almost certain to create new geopolitical challenges in the 21st century. Our scholars have the technical training to tailor models to our partners specific needs and questions. Recently, the Futures Lab, in partnership with Scale AI, incorporates advanced large language models (LLMs) to analyze security and international affairs. Using Scale AI's Donovan Platform, we tailor LLMs to uncover deep insights in complex global security issues, aligning AI capabilities with strategic objectives. This initiative enhances our research in areas like strategic-level wargaming and domain-specific decision support, offering nuanced, data-driven strategies for a rapidly evolving world.

Red Teaming and Wargaming

Embrace uncertainty and creativity. When the future is uncertain, outliers reign. The Futures Lab uses a mix of red teaming and wargaming to help partners understand strategy as a complex system. Our approach to gaming integrates data analysis and controlled experiments to help partners generate and evaluate new strategies.

Scenario Modelling

Show the context surrounding decision making. The Futures Lab employs multiple scenario-generation and modeling techniques to stress test possible policy solutions to major global challenges. These methods range from traditional trend-based scenarios to formal modeling and campaign analysis.

This program is made possible through the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); United Nations: International Organization for Migration (IOM); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); General Atomics; Lockheed Martin; Meta; Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); Carnegie Corporation of New York; Gray Space Strategies; and Scale AI.

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