Scott David

Principal Investigator

Research Scientist/Engineer - Principal

EIS Department


R.J. Cordes

Researcher Coordinator

Cognitive Security + Education Forum




AIE Nexus



Verified Information Exchange — VIE

Information Risk + Synthetic Intelligence Research Initiative — IRSIRI

What Is a VIE Environment?

Program Overview

This crowd-sourced, interdisciplinary research program frames the global information environment as a form of 'market' that needs exchange protocols and local standards. These can de-risk, reduce volatility, and increase trust in digital information transactions.

Call for Submissions

We are seeking collaborators. All responsible organizations, teams, and individuals are urged to submit articles, briefs, white papers, etc.

Program Announcements

The VIE program is supported by the National Science Foundation's Convergence Accelerator.

There is a tragedy of the commons in the global information environment. A well-meaning individual attempting to develop an informed opinion on any topic of the day will encounter a deluge of both possibly relevant and contradicting information from good-faith sources, opportunists, flawed thinkers, and threat actors alike. This flood of information is generally accessed through tools which were designed for the optimization of dwell-time and emotional engagement, creating commercially exploitable network effects that reinforce echo chambers, amplify outrage, and reward discord. The speed and ease with which resharing can occur coupled with the ability and incentives to mask or pervert identity, source, and meaning exacerbates these network effects, contributing to a decline in trust and, consequently, an increasingly hostile and polarized public discourse.

All forms of human exchange, whether it be an exchange of goods or information, are based on trust — trust in process, institutions, or people. Trust is built on actual and perceived notions of reliability, predictability, safety, and security. Historically, where interaction volume and number of participants increases rapidly within a market, the 'trust' that was previously engendered by that market starts to break down, and is generally followed by the emergence of risk-sharing communities-of-interest in the form of local associations engaging in rule-setting and standardization. A time tested focus of that emergent, 'local' rule-setting and standardization activity has focused on various sorts of 'exchange protocols' that provide participants 'signals' of trust and calibrate expectations of risk and benefits more accurately in transactions. For example, trusting that you will be able to find a fair transaction (liquidity), that you will receive what is expected (standards), that you will have recourse in the case you don’t receive what you expect (enforcement), and can feel confident in your choices based on current trends (stability).

While this problem of volatility and declining trust in the global information environment appears to be novel, when examined as a market undergoing growing pains from rapidly increasing interaction volumes, decentralization, and competition, this is simply a new instance of an old problem with novel features.

The program aims to create the conceptual foundation for new forms of information exchange-houses, or verified information exchange environments (VIEs), which would afford stakeholders with the opportunity to increase trust in digital information exchanges through the use of structured ensembles of community-based information sharing, curation, and research tools and data standards with consideration for Business, Operating, Legal, Technical, and Social (BOLTS) concerns. By way of existing example, payment card systems (for credit cards and debit cards) and traffic rules are VIEs.