Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) researchers are trying to find humanity’s driving factor. To do this, they started the Next Generation Social Science (NGS2) program, which will focus on developing new methods and tools that will allow researchers to build models of human social behavior.
Imagine taking this model to pick and choose the future generation of the armed forces. All recruits already take a test to evaluate their aptitude and where they will fit within the military. Each service takes into account the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). We all took it back in high school among a multitude of other tests that measures our ability to succeed in life.
What the ASVAB does is evaluate the level of aptitude the recruit has and what jobs he will qualify for. Depending on the score, the recruit – although most don’t know this until it’s too late – will have the opportunity to choose between the jobs that make your life a little bit easier in the military versus those that are more difficult. To a certain extent, the ASVAB places the recruit in a hierarchy within the military that one would not realize exists.
Let me be clear, there are a multitude of qualifications that a recruit needs to meet in order to be in the military. The recruit undergoes physical and mental tests from the moment he signs on to when he graduates boot camp, and beyond. To me the ASVAB is the equivalent of the SATs; it helps to determine how successful you are in your military career.
Under this program, researches will expand on the three current core social science capabilities:
- Innovative experimental methods and platforms
- Interpretation and reproducibility of research results
- Predictive modeling and hypothesis generation
At the beginning stages of the program, researches will try to understand what “variables matter most when it comes to collective identity and related issues of cooperative behavior and cultural norms,” DARPA officials say in a press release. Data will be gathered solely from the following sources: public available data, studies using gaming, and other platforms where everyone is fully aware of the research.
Learn more: NextGen social science and the warfighter