Technology Horizon Scanning
To mitigate technological surprise, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) mathematically analyzes a range of possible permutations of technology advances. "Technological Horizon Scanning," as it is known, assumes that the greater the distance between any two fields – say, computational quantum mechanics and weather risk indexing – the more unlikely their combination and the larger the impact of a possible fusion.
By aggregating and visualizing forecasts and drawing from over a 100,000 sources a day, Recorded Future helped DOD quickly narrow the scope of its verification as well as to indicate a necessary adjustment of methodology. Instead of creating possible technological permutations, DOD could compare predictions and track the creation of a new discipline.
|SWOT Analysis for
Technology Horizon Scanning
|Strengths• To mitigate technological surprise, mathematically analyses a range of possible permutations of technology advances.
• Assumes that the greater the distance between any two fields, the more unlikely their combination and the larger the impact of a possible fusion.
• Using a robust statistical clustering, their methodology helps identify pairs of topical candidates for examination.
• Each technology is disassembled to its various components and those elements are analysed "against" one another. Through a series of conjectures, which accounts for their disparate and distance from one another, permutations are evaluated and ranked.
• World’s first temporal analytics engine
• Recorded Future’s temporal analytics engine can test the validity of its evidence-based futures
|Weaknesses• The system itself will not determine whether a technology is likely to be disruptive. In the end, people will have to look over the data presented to determine what inventions could make the big differences.
• Avoiding confirmation bias proved difficult when assessing technological development on decades-long time horizons
• Identifying precursors, before the use of analytical software, to nominate technological areas as potentially emerging
• The science is not as mature as expected hence, other evaluations and game plans are necessary.
|Opportunities• Recorded Future enabled analysts to anticipate, identify, and prepare for beyond-the-horizon advancements
• Allows to rapidly disaggregate new from changing technology
• The capabilities these projects seek to detect might be outside the defence realm or might have been previously considered too immature to have much relevance to the technical landscape
• Discover the preconditions for technologies to become viable and whether data is available to clue into that.
|Threats• The science is not as mature as expected hence, other evaluations and game plans are necessary|