ShadowBox Newsletter: October 2019 Update

We’ve been working hard here at ShadowBox — lots of new developments to report.

Patent Pending? Not any longer!

ShadowBox LLC is very pleased to announce we have received confirmation from the U.S. Patent Office that we have been awarded patents for the core technologies driving the visual, web-based version of ShadowBox. We have introduced this feature as the “cue detect” feature for training visual recognition skills.

Welcome Adam Zaremsky!

ShadowBox added a new Research Assistant to our team – Adam Zaremsky! Adam is already involved in many of our ongoing projects. He holds a BA in Psychology from Kenyon College and has a great interest in live theatre and improvisational music.

Annie E. Casey Foundation Progress

Through our continued collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we are finalizing twelve new scenarios and corresponding facilitator guides, as well as a ShadowBox Startup Pack (© 2019 ShadowBox) for child welfare agencies. This Startup Pack will provide agencies with the tools necessary implement ShadowBox in their organization, including instructions for creating new scenarios on their own. Implementing ShadowBox will help staff continue to develop their critical thinking abilities, bringing workers and supervisors closer to making consistent decisions that best support children and families. If you are interested in accessing the ShadowBox Startup Pack, please send your contact information to to be placed on our mailing list.

Cognitive After-Action Review Guide for Observers (CAARGO) Video Progress

ShadowBox is continuing to develop an informational and accessible series of videos showcasing how trainers can implement CAARGO methods in their organizations. The videos will be available in early 2020.

CAARGO provides trainers with a vast number of tools for offering more effective and personal training methods to their trainees. Most importantly, it’s streamlined and easy to comprehend. Research shows that when providing new employees with training for their role, it is imperative to not only provide information about their specific role, but also get them to consider a broader picture. How do they fit into the company as a whole? Improvement of “forward thinking,” vision, and identification of larger situational evidence are the clear goals.

Figure 1: The wallet sized version

Joseph Borders and John Schmitt, along with project champion Ron Besuijen from Nova Chemicals in Alberta, Canada, gave a presentation at the Center for Operator Performance meeting in Houston, TX. They provided an overview of their progress on the CAARGO effort and provided a “sneak preview” of the upcoming videos. The presentation was very well received.

Keeping up with Gary

Gary Klein was recently one of three faculty members who led a “Cynefin” retreat, situated in Whistler National Park in British Columbia, Canada this August. Cynefin is Welsh for “habitat”. It refers to a sense-making system that helps managers discern more of their surroundings and understand another individual’s behavior.

He will be a keynote speaker on Anticipatory Thinking at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2019 Fall Symposium in Washington, DC. He will give a Grand Rounds on Diagnostic Errors at MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Washington, DC in November, 2019. He will be a keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual Learning Professional’s Consortium, in March 2020, hosted by the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command.

You can also find new podcasts featuring Gary at . Check out his latest thoughts about trusting and using our intuitions, and about applying the Pre-mortem method with financial managers.

Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) Updates

ShadowBox continues to be involved in the DARPA program on Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI). We are working in collaboration with Shane Mueller at Michigan Technological University and Robert Hoffman at the Institute for Human Machine Cognition. Gary created two naturalistic models of explaining, which were incorporated into a Technical Report to DARPA. He is also preparing a model of the self-explaining process. We also crafted a scorecard for the self-explaining capabilities of AI systems.

Diagnostic Reasoning and Errors

Gary is contracted with Johns Hopkins University as a consultant for a three-year project, starting this November. This project is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The project team will conduct interviews and record observations in order to identify the reasons that clinicians make diagnostic failures.

Looking Forward to 2020

We are enthusiastic about upcoming possibilities to bring ShadowBox to domains such as sports science, intelligence analysis, firefighting, nursing, and private business. If you are interested in using the ShadowBox approach at your organization, please send an email to

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