Artificial intelligence will be used in conjunction with traditional spy techniques, UK government minister says
Britain’s intelligence services are ready to use information compiled by artificial intelligence to help detect foreign threats that might be overlooked by humans, according to plans presented by Security Minister Tom Tugendhat.
In a column published Wednesday in The Telegraph, Tugendhat said a new government department – the Open Source Intelligence Hub (OSINT) – will use information gathered from open sources to help its more traditional intelligence services, MI5 and the MI6.
Official plans, including the scope and size of the unit, have yet to be finalized but are expected to be put in place by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in May.
“Traditional espionage will always lift the curtain on the plans of our enemies”, Tugendhat wrote. “We still have to listen and watch where they want to hide.”
He added that “intelligence has changed” over the past decade, prompting British intelligence to come up with new ways to identify and eliminate foreign threats. The new hub will also add richness and details existing methods of collecting information, he said.
Tugendhat denied the AI would be used to gather intelligence about the British public, insisting it would only investigate information that was already in the public domain.
The move comes just over two weeks after UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt set aside £3.5bn ($4.3bn) in the government’s budget to fund programs in science and technology. technology from London, which he said would turn it into a technology last year. “superpower.”
The AI unit will also be used to target distributors of alleged “disinformation,” Tugendhat explained. “We see our security undermined by the attempt to tear us apart, to spread misinformation, to spread lies in our communities,” he said.
The newly introduced unit is expected to rival work done by Bellingcat, the controversial group specializing in open source information analysis, Tugendhat said. Although billed as a fact-checking investigative group, Bellingcat also receives funding from a number of Western states and has been designated as a “foreign agent” by Russia in 2021.
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