CIA Tech Leader Says AI Can Be ‘Process No One Understands’

The CIA’s head of technology development says staying ahead of Russia and China is not as tough as getting U.S. leaders to listen to their own artificial intelligence analysis, Defense One reports.

“I just want to go faster than Russia and China can keep up. If there’s a bear in the woods, you just have to be faster than the slowest person.” Dawn Meyerriecks, the CIA’s deputy director for science and technology, told a National Security Summit in Washington.

The CIA currently has 137 pilot projects directly related to AI experiments that include everything from automatically tagging objects in video to better predicting future events based on big data and correlational evidence.

“Can we back into correlations with cause and effect that will allow us to be more predictive with what’s about to go down, like the North Koreans are about to launch this or about to do this. We have that in pockets.” she told the summit.

Though U.S. industry, and to some degree, government, have a technological lead in AI development, there are real differences in the way the United States and rival nations use it.

For example, Russia has shown an increased willingness to mix AI and weapons and lethal ground robots, the news outlet reported.

Meyerriecks said the biggest challenge in applying cutting-edge AI products and techniques is convincing government leaders, including President Donald Trump, to accept intelligence that comes, at least in part, from a robot.

“We produce a presidential daily brief. We have to have really, really good evidence for why we reach the conclusions that we do. One of the things that’s 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.” she said, Defense One reports.

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