2015 February 2

“Human Factor in Intelligence” conference brings a close to RECOBIA project

On 23 January 2015, EUROSINT Forum & CEIS-European Office organised, in Brussels, the final conference of the FP7-SEC RECOBIA project (Reduction of Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Analysis). Bringing a close to the project, this final conference was attended by more than 45 participants, among which intelligence professionals representing National and European Intelligence Agencies and NATO.

The objective of this conference was to put a focus on “the human factor in Intelligence” and to present the main outcomes and results of the three-year research conducted by the consortium. The consortium sought to provide solutions on how to improve the quality of intelligence production.

To this end, examples of the main results of the project were shown to the audience by CEIS-European Office

  • 7 Key Intelligence Tasks (KITs). KITs are a concept developed during the RECOBIA project. KITs are tasks that every intelligence officer performs on a daily basis and that are generic from a cognitive as well as from an intelligence point of view.
  • 28 cognitive biases that are particularly prone to affect Intelligence Officers in these Key Intelligence tasks have been identified and documented
  • 40 specific situations that illustrate the impact and effects of these cognitive biases
  • 1 scenario that illustrates the effects of cognitive biases and their mitigation strategies in the everyday work of intelligence analysts.
  • Mitigation strategies to face the negative impacts of these unconscious cognitives deviations.

The visualisation and interactive web-based tool, RECOPEDIA, developed by ATOS and containing everything above; as well as the Cognitive Bias Explorer, developed by University of Konstanz, were also demonstrated live.

Finally, the consortium warmly welcomed the perspective of an End-User who presented to the audience the inputs provided by the European Intelligence Community to the project. The creation of an End-User community, thanks to the six workshops organised throughout the project, was also highlighted as one of the major outcomes of the project. The consortium managed to formulate results that are operational, realistic and acceptable/accepted by the end-user community.

The final report of the RECOBIA project will be available at: www.recobia.eu

About the RECOBIA project (2012-2015)

The aim of RECOBIA was to improve the quality of intelligence analysis by reducing the negative impact of cognitive biases upon intelligence analysis.

CEIS was coordinator of the FP7 Security Project RECOBIA. As such, CEIS was involved in the research aspects of the project as well as day-to-day management of the project.

The RECOBIA project consortium consisted of companies working in the field of intelligence analysis and IT (CEIS, Thales, Hawk, Atos, Zanasi SrL), research centres (CEA, University of Konstanz, Graz University of Technology) and psychologists (ISEA Psy) specialised in cognitive biases. Lastly, the EUROSINT FORUM, the pan-european association of Intelligence professionals in the field of OSINT, is partner the consortium.