The CIA’s Open-Source Enterprise division is set to provide intelligence agencies with the AI tool in short order.
“We’ve gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going,” Randy Nixon, the division's director, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We have to find the needles in the needle field.”
This push for the CIA to more easily access large troves of data is part of a larger government campaign to utilize the power of AI in order to properly compete with China, according to Bloomberg.
While the CIA claims the data is entirely "publicly and commercially available," Bloomberg noted that the agency did not specify how it plans to stop information from pouring into the open internet.
Nixon has asserted that the agency is diligent about adhering to US privacy laws.
Despite this, some still remain concerned about potential privacy violations. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has voiced concerns about intelligence groups such as the CIA morphing into largely unregulated commercial marketplaces that can acquire troves of private data about people, including physical locations pulled from their mobile devices.
By the CIA's standards, a person's physical location is considered to be "open-source information." This remains the case even if only governments are able to access such data.
Nixon said that this new AI tool will give users the ability to view the original source of any given information they may access and that utilizing a chat feature is a key part of getting intelligence to be disseminated more quickly.
“Then you can take it to the next level and start chatting and asking questions of the machines to give you answers, also sourced,” Nixon explained. “Our collection can just continue to grow and grow with no limitations other than how much things cost.”
The new AI tool will be given to the entire 8-agency US intelligence community, with the CIA, National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and numerous branches of the military all among those who are allowed access.
Regular citizens and public policymakers will not be able to access the tool.
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