The CIA currently has 137 pilot projects directly related to artificial intelligence, Dawn Meyerriecks, the CIA’s deputy director for science and technology, told the Intelligence and National Security Summit in downtown DC, according to a report published in Defense One.
According to the report, the agency has a “punch list” of different artificial intelligence problems that it wants the private sector to work on. The CIA is already coordinating this work with In-Q-Tel, the agency’s venture capital firm, Meyerriecks said.
The CIA has been working towards replacing humans with artificial intelligence for some tedious tasks for quite some time now. Earlier in June, Robert Cardillo, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, has said that he is aimed to bringing in robots to do 75 percent of the tasks currently being done by employees to analyse and interpret images beamed in from feeds around the globe and in space.
Artificial intelligence has gradually and steadily started to become a part of intelligence agencies and the technology is already prevalent in certain security applications including facial and voice recognition. However, the rising demand of AI in being able to detect malicious hacking online and help pilot drones and other autonomous vehicles is not unknown.
Intelligence officials, however, have warned that adversaries and competitors like Russia and China are competing for similar capabilities.
Meyerriecks asserted that staying ahead of Russia and China in AI isn’t as hard as getting U.S. leaders to listen to their own artificial intelligence analysis.
“I just want to go faster than they can keep up. If there’s a bear in the woods, you just have to be faster than the slowest person (sic). One of the things that is a challenge for the current AI community, one of the things I’m positive will get addressed, is… you can’t go to leadership and make a recommendation based on a process that no one understands,” Meyerriecks said.