EA College Forecasting Tournament

Forecast the future of science & technology to support U.S. Government policymakers

April 1 - July 31, 2022

Presented by INFER | Supported by Open Philanthropy

Co-sponsored by EA Cambridge and University of Chicago EA Group

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INFER, a forecasting program funded by a grant from Open Philanthropy to generate valuable signals for U.S. Government policymakers, is hosting an intercollegiate forecasting tournament for Effective Altruism (EA) groups. Any EA group affiliated with a university is welcome to participate in the tournament.

The tournament is currently scheduled to run from April 1 - July 31, 2022, but teams can continue to join through April.

How It Will Work

  • EA university groups will form teams on INFER (see our instructions on how to get started)

  • Teams must have at least 5+ active forecasters every month to be eligible for a prize.

  • We will let teams know throughout the tournament which questions will be scored as part of the tournament.

  • Scoring will be completed through INFER and use our relative brier scoring system.

  • The top 3 most accurate teams (lowest relative brier score) will be rewarded with prize money.1

  • Prizes will be awarded as sponsorship to the university group or to the cause of their choice (in accordance with our charitable guidelines).

Benefits to Individual Members

  • Have a direct influence on U.S. Government policymaking;

  • Build rational thinking skills through practice and feedback;

  • Participate on a team of forecasters and interact with other EA groups from around the world;

  • Invitations to INFER events with current and former U.S. Government officials and researchers;

  • Aside from being eligible for a tournament prize, as an individual on INFER, you may participate in any of the active reward challenges totaling $12,000.

Prize Rules

  • The reward is scaled based on the total number of active forecasters in the tournament across every month (April, May, June, and July) of the tournament. The more active forecasters we have in the tournament as a whole every month, the higher the pot for the winning teams!

    • 50 active forecasters per month → Prizes total $2,500, for example:

      • First place: $1,000

      • Second place: $800

      • Third place: $700

    • 100 active forecasters per month → Prizes total $5,000

    • 200+ active forecasters per month → Prizes total $10,000

  • Winning teams only need to have five active forecasters to be eligible for the prizes, regardless of the prize total.

More About INFER

INFER, short for INtegrated Forecasting and Estimates of Risk, is a forecasting program designed to generate valuable signals and early warning about the future of critical science and technology trends and events for U.S. Government policymakers. INFER empowers scientists, researchers, analysts, and forecasters from inside and outside the U.S. Government to have a direct impact on policy and decision-making.

INFER works by operating as a continuous, 4-step lifecycle between policymakers and those who are best positioned to make relevant forecasts about the future.

  1. As initial input, policymakers identify priority areas (e.g. AI competitiveness) and strategic questions within those priority areas (e.g. “How will AI impact the strategic balance between the U.S. and its competitors?”) where guidance, regulation, or clarification is needed to strengthen our competitive position or operate more effectively.

  2. We then define what aspects of future ground truth will need to be understood to make optimal judgments on a path forward.

  3. Using those factors, we publish falsifiable forecast questions across multiple online crowdsourced forecasting platforms, some in the public domain, some only accessible by government employees. The platform this EA tournament will be run on is live at infer-pub.com.

  4. Finally, INFER generates consensus, probabilistic forecasts and accompanying qualitative data to both report on the individual forecast questions and create a rendering of which scenario is most likely to play out in response to policymaker’s strategic questions. The policymaker can then use this input to optimize decisions about new regulations and resource allocations and “skate to where the puck will be” as Wayne Gretzky famously said.

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