The American security agency CIA knows that the future can’t go without artificial intelligence. The agency was all over the news last year because of Wikileaks which published their collection of hacking tools.
CIA wants to deal with foreign spies, not human but AI-powered spies tracking CIA agents deployed overseas. An effective countermeasure would be using technology instead of humans to get the required intel.
At a conference in Florida, CIA’s Science and Technology division deputy director Dawn Meyerriecks talked about their AI developments without going into the details. Meyerriecks told the audience there are around 30 countries that are so good at digital surveillance that they don’t need physical tracking.
Singapore is one such country that has been doing this for years, she told CNN after the conference. But this doesn’t mean that CIA is any less. The agency has been running around 140 AI projects, as of six months ago.
One of the projects helps agents know that they’re being surveilled and how to avoid cameras constantly watching them. A small team created a map of cameras in a big capital by combining a “bunch of unclassified overhead and street view” with AI and machine learning algorithms.
Meyerricks further said that there are challenges other than cameras. Like social media and various other tracking methods. Earlier this year, the fitness tracking company Strava unintentionally exposed the locations of secret US military bases.
The agency is working on how to deceive technology, it’s not known how. Possibly, by faking their location somehow, digitally or leaving the device at some place and walk away. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure the cover doesn’t blow up. It becomes difficult when you have AI systems capable of spotting a person in a crowd of thousands.
They’re working on it for more than 30 years
It wasn’t some overnight dream that motivated CIA to incorporate AI in their work process. According to the declassified documents (via TNW) from 1984, the agency has been working on AI for over 30 years.
A group called “AI Steering Group” created almost a year before the document’s date was responsible for briefing CIA bosses about the AI research and development every month.