The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is set to launch a ChatGPT-style artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help sift through large amounts of data for clues in ongoing investigations.
This initiative is aimed at improving access to open-source intelligence and will be rolled out across all 18 of the US government’s intelligence agencies. The technology, developed by the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise division, is part of an effort to compete with China’s growing intelligence capabilities.
Randy Nixon, director of the CIA’s AI division, highlights the challenge of analyzing vast amounts of data on the web, stating, “We have to find the needles in the needle field.” He believes the new program will aid in condensing the unprecedented levels of information available on the internet.
Among the new capabilities provided by the AI tool is the ability to see the original source of any information. Like ChatGPT, agents will use a chat feature to receive succinct information. Nixon explains that users can “start chatting and asking questions of the machines to give you answers, also sourced.”
The push to incorporate artificial intelligence into the US military and intelligence apparatus comes amid pressure to keep up with China’s advancing tech prowess. China has been making significant strides in AI, aiming to become the global leader by 2030. In contrast, America’s law enforcement has struggled to utilize AI power in investigations.
However, while the AI tool promises to transform the way analysts work, concerns remain about the technology’s potential drawbacks. Experts are unsure about the security risks, including potential access to the CIA’s information on the open internet.
The CIA has not detailed how it will protect the information gathered using this technology. Despite these concerns, Nixon emphasizes the need to adapt to the increasing amount of data circulating on the internet, saying, “Our collection can just continue to grow and grow with no limitations other than how much things cost.”