or clarification of specific issues presented in reporting. Finally, decision makers must identify topical areas requiring collection and analysis of information by the intelligence community.
As with weather forecasting, technology forecasting is measured in terms of probabilities, not certainties. Figure 5-2 is a notional diagram that illustrates some of the possibilities of technology-warning maturation. The abscissa of the diagram is time. It may be obvious, but it must be stated, that as analysts try to forecast farther into the future prediction becomes less accurate. By analogy, the afternoon weather forecast is more accurate than a 7-day forecast, which is more accurate than a 1-year forecast. The same difficulties will be apparent with neuroscience forecasting as analysts try to predict developments over the next 20 years. Figure 5-2 attempts to illustrate some considerations required in watching the development of cognitive neuroscience and related technologies.
In Figure 5-2, technology-warning levels are plotted on the ordinate of the diagram. The advancement of knowledge and technologies may have several trajectories, including linear and exponential, incremental, and nonlinear or crossover. Intelligence officers are often concerned with developing “trip wires” to avoid technology surprise. Trip wires are described as “observables” and “indicators” in Avoiding Surprise (NRC, 2005). To monitor these indicators of