Intelligence Workstation
Ted Goranson

Though the original research was targeted at support for the virtual enterprise [More], and the conceptual models based on narrative [More], the resulting collection of technologies was suitable for radical advances in other domains. We partnered with an angel-funded startup, Earl Research, to develop a product for the intelligence community. The angel suffered unrelated business losses and Earl Research folded at the end of 2009.

The workstations are two different implementations of topoiesis [More].

One, developed by us as “fforeDance” is a desktop application based on Apple OSX, iOS services and toolbox, including special support for OpenCL. The priority in this implementation is soft reasoning, using situation theory via topoiesis over massive, heterogeneous data/knowledge sources. Architecture using Lisp [Here]. UI mockups [Here].

A web-based system was prototyped and demonstrated. As it is based on web services and browser clients, it is less media-rich. Rather, the design goal was to support the same level of softness as fforeDance but in a highly distributed, collaborative fashion. It is programmed in Erlang and JavaScript using functional reactive agents, provides full support for topoiesis and is highly scalable. Architecture [Here]. Demo film [Here].

This second system, worldmerge, was built with the intent of having its first use be as an open web service for film enthusiasts called Framethrower [More]. Framethrower would have allowed reactive, collaborative annotation of films, including to objects and qualities noted directly on the film.

The two workstation designs incorported many results from novel UI experiments [More]. Patents are filed on key elements.

Both systems are presented using a detailed intelligence scenario designed to highlight the need for situation theoretic logic and soft reasoning. This scenario — partly fictitious — moves from the need to understand the true story of what caused a plane crash, to studying the stories being made up on the Cairo street, to studying the story of how these evolve and die, to understanding the story behind a manipulator of these rumors who then goes on to plan 9-11 [More].