Analyzing raw information collected by humans to characterize prospective adversarial threats is a core function of intelligence, colloquially referred to as the “world's second oldest profession,” and dates back across multiple millennia to antiquity. For example, Homer's epic poem The Illiad refers to the use of spies by the Greeks and Trojans. The Book of Joshua, presumably written long after the events in that narrative potentially happened, similarly provides a simplified account of the Israelites’ military invasion of Palestine, including the story of Joshua sending spies to Jericho to conduct reconnaissance and investigate the Canaanites’ weaknesses. Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War and Machiavelli's The Prince also point to the value of human collection. This type of information can assist analysts in generating intelligence that is timely, relevant, and accurate, thereby serving to inform decisionmaking.
Regens, James L., Nicholas A. Mould, Carl J. Jensen III and David N. Edger. 2016. "Terrorism-Centric Behavior Recognition and Adversarial Threat Forecasting." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 29 (January): 328-340. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08850607.2015.1083317