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CAPTRS is Building a Universe of Threats for Preparedness through Writing Contests and Artificial Intelligence

By June 5, 2023June 15th, 2023No Comments

CAPTRS is tackling the human failure of imagination as it pertains to threats by building a catalog of threat scenarios, called the “Universe of Threats.” These scenarios will then be used by CAPTRS to prepare globally for unknown and complex threats our society may face in the future. CAPTRS will use a combination of human storytelling and artificial intelligence to build the Universe of Threats.

In May, CAPTRS launched the first of three threat scenario writing contests, focused on pathogen threats. Submissions have been received from writers, scientists, students and others across the globe. The pathogen threat scenarios gathered through the contest will be used to hone pandemic preparedness strategies and train future decision makers. There will be two additional writing contests in 2023. The next contest to launch will focus on threats to critical infrastructure and supplies. The final contest of the year will focus on threats from natural disasters, such as floods and wildfires.

In addition to the scenario writing contests, CAPTRS is also working with a university partner to create AI models for generating infectious disease outbreak scenarios. Though the initial AI project is solely on pathogen threats, CAPTRS will expand this novel AI work to other threat areas as we continue to build the Universe of Threats.

“This pilot project of creating the Universe of Threats will allow us to combine human creativity with artificial intelligence in a truly unique way,” said Phil Siegel, co-founder of CAPTRS. “The scenarios created through this project will be used by CAPTRS Chief Scientist for Gaming to train decision makers in responding to threats. I am not aware of any other program out there specifically targeting threat preparedness by integrating AI, human creativity, modeling and gaming. It is very exciting.”

Whether you are a scientist, public health professional, clinician, writer, journalist or student – you are encouraged to submit to the writing contests! Read full details for the pathogen threat contests on our website. The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, second place winners will receive $5,000 and third place winners will receive $1,000. Details for the future contests will be posted soon.