Spy Agencies Turn to AI to Stay Ahead of Adversaries
By: Jack Corrigan
The intelligence community’s second-in-command sees technology as a primary driver of geopolitical strength in the decades ahead, and she worries the U.S. will lose its edge unless national security agencies use tools like machine-learning to accelerate their operations.
The global intelligence game has always revolved around collecting information, but the booming digital economy is making more data available to more people than ever before, according to Sue Gordon, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. In a world of “data abundance,” she said, national security will hinge on how fast countries can make sense of the information.
“The change we’re undergoing right now is as big as I’ve ever seen,” Gordon said Thursday at the Defense One Tech Summit. “This is a world where the threats are to and through information. Every technology is available to everyone, and the one that can put it to clever use faster is the one that’s going to win.”
But the traditional methods spy agencies have used to collect, analyze and share intelligence don’t necessarily fit within that new paradigm, she said. To stay ahead of global adversaries like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, intelligence leaders are working to fundamentally change the way they make decisions based on data.
One of the main pillars of that strategy is expanding the IC’s use of artificial intelligence, Gordon said.
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