Hybrid Forecasting -- the Legal Stuff

in politics •  8 months ago

This is the consent form I had to sign to enter the study on hybrid forecasting, which I originally described here.  Note that they do not promise to protect my identity, and they do not require me to keep quiet about the study, either (no NDA).  This should be interesting.

University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute 4676 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292   

INFORMED CONSENT FOR NON-MEDICAL RESEARCH   

SAGE: SYNERGISTIC ANTICIPATION OF GEOPOLITICAL EVENTS   

You are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Dr. Aram Galstyan, Emilio Ferrara, and Pedro Szekely at the University of Southern California. This study is funded by IARPA. Your participation is voluntary. You should read the information below, and ask questions about anything you do not understand, before deciding whether to participate. Please take as much time as you need to read the consent form. You may also decide to discuss participation with your family or friends. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to sign this form. You will be given a copy of this form.   

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 

The main goal of the study is to develop hybrid strategies for forecasting geopolitical events that combine both human-generated and machine generated forecasts. The overarching goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to have a hybrid forecasting system that produces more accurate results than either human-only or machine-only forecasts.    

STUDY PROCEDURES 

If you volunteer to participate in this study, you will be asked to generate probabilistic forecasts on Individual Forecasting Problems, or IFPs, using an online platform that will be provided by USC. In addition to generating forecasts based on their own judgement, you will also be asked to consider/interact with forecasts generated by machine-based (algorithmic) methods.    

Periodically, you will be prompted to complete feedback surveys. These feedback surveys will be administered periodically, approximately every 3 months, meaning 2 -3 times / forecasting period. You will receive an email invitation with a link. The email will be short (5-7 minutes). You will be given approximately 2 weeks to respond.   

POTENTIAL RISKS AND DISCOMFORTS 

No risk is anticipated.   

POTENTIAL BENEFITS TO PARTICIPANTS AND/OR TO SOCIETY

 The research study has the potential to significantly advance the state of the art in forecasting, both in terms of accuracy of the generated forecasts, and the sheer volume of the problems that can be handled by the current solutions. The SAGE system proposed here aims at realizing this potential, by synergistically combining human- and machine- generated forecasts in a problem-specific and efficient manner.   

BENEFITS

In addition to any HIT completion credit you are eligible to receive (as advertised on the main HIT listing ), participants like you may benefit by learning from your forecast experiences. In addition, it is hoped that the results of this study will provide valuable insight into reasoning, judgment, and decision-making processes that will improve planning and forecasting in all sectors of society.   

CONFIDENTIALITY 

We will keep your records for this study confidential as far as permitted by law. However, if we are required to do so by law, we will disclose confidential information about you. The members of the research team, the funding agency and the University of Southern California’s Human Subjects Protection Program (HSPP) may access the data. The HSPP reviews and monitors research studies to protect the rights and welfare of research subjects.   The data will be stored at secure dedicated machines at the USC Information Sciences Institute. The access to the machine will be password-protected, and limited to only to research personnel. At the conclusion of the study, the data generated by the participants will be: retained for study record keeping purposes per institutional policy and retained by the investigator for future research use.   

PARTICIPATION AND WITHDRAWAL 

Your participation is voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You may withdraw your consent at any time and discontinue participation without penalty. You are not waiving any legal claims, rights or remedies because of your participation in this research study.   

ALTERNATIVES TO PARTICIPATION 

Your alternative is to not participate.   

INVESTIGATOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION 

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please feel free to contact   SAGE Research Team e-mail: sage-support@isi.edu   

RIGHTS OF RESEARCH PARTICIPANT – IRB CONTACT INFORMATION 

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints about your rights as a research participant or the research in general and are unable to contact the research team, or if you want to talk to someone independent of the research team, please contact the University Park Institutional Review Board (UPIRB), 3720 South Flower Street #301, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0702, (213) 821-5272 or upirb@usc.edu  

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