The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has taken another step toward incorporating artificial intelligence into its analytics, awarding prizes in a first-ever public challenge contest that sought AI approaches “with the potential to transform the process by which analysts currently support policymakers and warfighters.”

The Xpress Challenge sought to stimulate the development of innovative algorithms to craft analytic products that identified the national security implications of a representative intelligence question using samples of of press reporting. Submissions were evaluated based on the quality of the report generated as well as the degree to which the approach could be extended to additional, related questions.

The contest drew submissions from 387 teams, of which 13 were deemed responsive. Of those, one won in three categories–literal, inferential, and evaluative—and a second won in the other, creativity.

“Although trained IC analysts’ products still exceed the quality of the reports generated by these solutions, [the former entrant’s] approach generated its responses in about 10 seconds using commodity hardware. Ultimately, such AI-enabled approaches may afford decision-makers a parallel intelligence production model that allows them to rapidly determine if such a machine-generated output is ‘good enough’ for their pressing information needs,” a statement said.