Showing posts with label Intelligence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Intelligence. Show all posts

10 August 2019

Seeing How Computers ‘Think’ Helps Humans Stump Machines, Reveals AI Weaknesses

One of the ultimate goals of artificial intelligence is a machine that truly understands human language and interprets meaning from complex, nuanced passages.

When IBM’s Watson computer beat famed “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings in 2011, it seemed as if that milestone had been met. However, anyone who has tried to have a conversation with virtual assistant Siri knows that computers have a long way to go to truly understand human language. To get better at understanding language, computer systems must train using questions that challenge them and reflect the full complexity of human language.

Researchers from the University of Maryland have figured out how to reliably create such questions through a human-computer collaboration, developing a dataset of more than 1,200 questions that, while easy for people to answer, stump the best computer answering systems today. The system that learns to master these questions will have a better understanding of language than any system currently in existence. The work is described in an article published in the 2019 issue of the journal Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

9 August 2019

Can artificial intelligence help society as much as it helps business?

By Jacques Bughin and Eric Hazan

The answer is yes—but only if leaders start embracing technological social responsibility (TSR) as a new business imperative for the AI era. Article (PDF-3MB)

In 1953, US senators grilled General Motors CEO Charles “Engine Charlie” Wilson about his large GM shareholdings: Would they cloud his decision making if he became the US secretary of defense and the interests of General Motors and the United States diverged? Wilson said that he would always put US interests first but that he could not imagine such a divergence taking place, because, “for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.” Although Wilson was confirmed, his remarks raised eyebrows due to widespread skepticism about the alignment of corporate and societal interests.

The skepticism of the 1950s looks quaint when compared with today’s concerns about whether business leaders will harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and workplace automation to pad their own pockets and those of shareholders—not to mention hurting society by causing unemployment, infringing upon privacy, creating safety and security risks, or worse. But is it possible that what is good for society can also be good for business—and vice versa?

17 June 2019

Intelligence agency could be used for 'offensive cyber' operations in Australia

By David Wroe

Australia's electronic intelligence agency could smash the computer networks of criminals domestically using "offensive cyber" operations presently confined to overseas targets under proposals being discussed among national security officials.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) could also sit within the networks of major Australian power, water, telecommunications and other critical infrastructure companies to help defend them against foreign cyber attacks.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age can reveal that a greater domestic role for the ASD remains a live consideration for the Morrison government despite the political firestorm that has erupted since police raided a journalist's home to investigate a top-secret leak of the ASD proposals.

Senior officials have repeatedly stated that the proposal never amounted to spying on Australians - a position strenuously underscored by multiple sources in recent days.

15 June 2019

Experts: Spy used AI-generated face to connect with targets


LONDON (AP) — Katie Jones sure seemed plugged into Washington’s political scene. The 30-something redhead boasted a job at a top think tank and a who’s-who network of pundits and experts, from the centrist Brookings Institution to the right-wing Heritage Foundation. She was connected to a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator and the economist Paul Winfree, who is being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve.

But Katie Jones doesn’t exist, The Associated Press has determined. Instead, the persona was part of a vast army of phantom profiles lurking on the professional networking site LinkedIn. And several experts contacted by the AP said Jones’ profile picture appeared to have been created by a computer program.

“I’m convinced that it’s a fake face,” said Mario Klingemann, a German artist who has been experimenting for years with artificially generated portraits and says he has reviewed tens of thousands of such images. “It has all the hallmarks.”

12 June 2019

How the CIA is Working to Ethically Deploy Artificial Intelligence


As the agency uses new technology, insiders are thinking critically about issues around privacy and bias.

As the Central Intelligence Agency harnesses machine learning and artificial intelligence to better meet its mission, insiders are aggressively addressing issues around bias and ethics intrinsic to the emerging tech.

“We at the agency have over 100 AI initiatives that we are working on and that’s going to continue to be the case,” Benjamin Huebner, the CIA’s privacy and civil liberties officer said Friday at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington. “That’s a big complicated issue that we are very much thinking about all the time.”

Huebner said collaborating with the intelligence agency’s data scientists is one of his favorite parts of his job. His privacy team works directly with their tech-facing colleagues on projects around statistics, coding, and graphical representations.

“And some of [the work] is utilizing new analytics that we have, particularly for large data sets, to look at information in ways that we weren’t able to do before and to use improvements in machine learning to see insights that as humans, just from a capacity standpoint, we can’t see,” he said.

27 May 2019

The Newest AI-Enabled Weapon: ‘Deep-Faking’ Photos of the Earth


Step 1: Use AI to make undetectable changes to outdoor photos. Step 2: release them into the open-source world and enjoy the chaos.

Worries about deep fakes — machine-manipulated videos of celebrities and world leaders purportedly saying or doing things that they really didn’t — are quaint compared to a new threat: doctored images of the Earth itself.

China is the acknowledged leader in using an emerging technique called generative adversarial networks to trick computers into seeing objects in landscapes or in satellite images that aren’t there, says Todd Myers, automation lead for the CIO-Technology Directorate at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

8 March 2019

Whoever Predicts the Future Will Win the AI Arms Race

By Adrian Pecotic 

The race for advanced artificial intelligence has already started. A few weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the “American AI Initiative,” with which the United States joined other major countries pursuing national strategies for developing AI. China released its “New Generation Plan” in 2017, outlining its strategy to lead the world in AI by 2030. Months after that announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared, “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared, “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

But it’s less clear how much AI will advance, exactly. It may only be able to perform fairly menial tasks like classifying photographs, driving, or bookkeeping. There’s also a distinct possibility that AI will become as smart as humans or more so, able to make complex decisions independently. A race toward a technology with such a range of possible final states, stretching from banal to terrifying, is inherently unstable. A research program directed toward one understanding of AI may prove to have been misdirected after years of work. Alternatively, a plan to focus on small and achievable advances could be leapfrogged by a more ambitious effort.

4 March 2019

President Trump’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence

By Jim Baker 

On Feb. 11, President Trump issued a new executive order regarding artificial intelligence (AI). Darrell West from Brookings wrote a brief analysis of the order, Caleb Watney from R Street critiqued it on Lawfare, and major media outlets have provided some reporting and commentary on the rollout. Rather than repeat what the order says or what others have said about it, below are three compliments and three concerns based on my initial review of the order.

First, here are three things I like:

1. The president actually issued the order. No one is really sure exactly how transformative AI will be—there is a lot of potential in AI, but there is also a lot of hype. But because AI might have major impacts on the economy, national security and other facets of society, society needs to stay focused on it. Other countries—especially China—are investing heavily in AI and related fields, such as high-speed computing, sensors and robotics (including autonomous vehicles and weapons systems). The U.S. Department of Defense and elements of the U.S. intelligence community seem to be fully seized of the AI issue and are actively pursuing an array of initiatives in the field.

23 February 2019

Does Rising Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

By Scot A. Terban

Date Originally Published: February 18, 2019.

Summary: Artificial Intelligence or A.I. has been a long-standing subject of science fiction that usually ends badly for the human race in some way. From the ‘Terminator’ films to ‘Wargames,’ an A.I. being dangerous is a common theme. The reality though is that A.I. could go either way depending on the circumstances. However, at the present state of A.I. and it’s uses today, it is more of a danger than a boon in it’s use on the battlefield both political and militarily.

Text: Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been a staple in science fiction over the years but recently the technology has become a more probable reality[1]. The use of semi-intelligent computer programs and systems have made our lives a bit easier with regard to certain things like turning your lights on in a room with an Alexa or maybe playing some music or answering questions for you. However, other uses for such technologies have already been planned and in some cases implemented within the military and private industry for security oriented and offensive means.

A New Generation of Intelligence: National Security and Surveillance in the Age of AI

Alexander Babuta

Engaging in open debate will be crucial for the UK Intelligence Community to gain public trust regarding the use of artificial intelligence for national security purposes.

Speaking on the record to an invited audience at RUSI on 21 January 2019, GCHQ Deputy Director for Strategic Policy Paul Killworth described how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the potential to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of various intelligence functions. However, these capabilities bring with them complex legal and ethical considerations, and there is a strong public expectation that the UK’s intelligence agencies will act in a way that protects citizens’ rights and freedoms.

The national security community has expressed a desire to engage in a more open dialogue on these issues, with Killworth stressing that ‘it is absolutely essential that we have the debates around AI and machine learning in the national security space that will deliver the answers and approaches that will give us public consent’. However, it may prove difficult to provide sufficient reassurances to the public concerning national security uses of AI, due to understandably high levels of sensitivity. 

Trump’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy: Aspirations Without Teeth

By Caleb Watney

On Feb. 11, the White House released an executive order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” (AI)—the latest attempt to develop a national strategy for AI. The order envisions the United States taking significant steps to increase research and development efforts while reforming its executive agencies to better compete with the Chinese government’s investments in AI development through its Made in China 2025 plan. Although the order is full of promising language and constructive suggestions for executive agencies, it is unlikely to have much of a long-term effect without further support from Congress.

The executive order has three basic prongs. First, it charges executive agencies to “prioritize AI” across several dimensions. Essentially, if a department handles research and development, it’s encouraged to put work on AI at the top of the queue. If it issues educational grants, the department should emphasize programs that increase apprenticeships and educational opportunities that build science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. If a department regulates products that incorporate AI, department heads should be on the lookout for ways to reduce entry barriers and promote innovation while addressing new challenges. Given the broad scope of this prioritization effort, the order could theoretically have an impact on a wide swath of existing agencies. Research and development funds are concentrated primarily within eight different agencies, but many other agencies regulate parts of the economy on which AI is encroaching.

11 February 2019

Attacking Artificial Intelligence: How To Trick The Enemy


ARLINGTON: With the US, Russia, and China all investing in Artificial Intelligence for their armed forces, people often worry the Terminator is going to come to life and kill them. But given the glaring vulnerabilities of AI, maybe the Terminator ought to be afraid of us.

“People are saying, ‘oh my god, autonomy’s coming, Arnold is going to be here, he’s going to be out on the battlefield on the other side,’” said Marine rifleman turned AI expert Mike Kramer. ”I don’t believe that. This is an attack surface.”

As Kramer and other experts told the NDIA special operations conference this morning, every time an enemy fields an automated or autonomous system, it will have weak points we can attack – and we can attack them electronically, without ever having to fire a shot.

9 February 2019

The Pentagon’s First AI Strategy Will Focus on Near-Term Operations — and Safety


The document is intended to make commander think through the implications of their new artificial-intelligence tools.

The Defense Department will unveil a new artificial intelligence strategy perhaps as early as this week, senior defense officials told Defense One. The strategy — its first ever — will emphasize the creation and tailoring of tools for specific commands and service branches, allowing them to move into AI operations sooner rather than later.

“DOD has spent the past 50 years treating AI as a [science and technology] concern. This strategy reflects an additional imperative, which is to translate the technology into decisions and impact in operations,” said one official with direct knowledge of the strategy.

Much like the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, the future of military AI will take its cue from Project Maven, which applied artificial intelligence to sorting through intelligence footage. One official described Maven as “a pathfinder” but cautioned, “the strategy is much broader than one project.”

7 February 2019

The Monitoring Game: China’s Artificial Intelligence Push – OpEd

By Binoy Kampmark

It’s all keen and mean on the artificial intelligence (AI) front in China, which is now vying with the United States as the top dog in the field. US companies can still boast the big cheese operators, but China is making strides in other areas. The UN World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Thursday report found that IBM had, with 8,920 patents in the field, the largest AI portfolio, followed by Microsoft with 5,930. China, however, was found dominant in 17 of 20 academic institutions involved in the business of patenting AI.

The scramble has been a bitter one. The Trump administration has been inflicting various punitive measures through tariffs, accusing Beijing of being the lead thief in global intellectual property matters. But it is also clear that China has done much to play the game. “They are serious players in the field of intellectual property,” suggests WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry.

6 February 2019

Bringing AI to Bear on the Battlefield

By Stephanie Chenault; Maj. Scott Kinner, USMC (Ret.); and Maj. Kurt Warner, USA (Ret.)

The U.S. Defense Department lags the hype cycle for artificial intelligence, machine/deep learning and implementations like natural language processing by years. It needs to uncover the root causes contributing to this delay and create winning strategies to overcome institutional obstacles to get ahead of industrial partners and adversaries who are further along the adoption curve.

Possessing technology is neither deterministic nor decisive when waging war. The effective employment and deliberate application of technologies to enhance warfighting capabilities implies advantage over an adversary when suitably coupled with offensive and defensive tactics.

With the big data bang of the 2000s, a global need arose to create sophisticated computational models and deploy new tools to better understand massive volumes of information. It is now a prevailing urgency to spin international data saturation into financial gold on an industrial scale. Having tremendous purchasing power, the military is in a position to shape new technologies to its needs.

3 February 2019

Intelligence Chiefs Diverge From Trump On Main Threats to US


The things that worry America’s intelligence community can’t be stopped by a wall.

U.S. intelligence heads went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday and described the threats facing America in terms quite different from those offered by the White House.

North Korea is still committed to developing nuclear missiles. ISIS, though weakened, still commands thousands of fighters. China’s reach into the global telecommunications industry presents an intelligence and security concern. Russia continues to sow disinformation to undermine the United States and its allies. It was a list of security problems that defied easy solutions. Agency heads and lawmakers seemed unsure what to do about the disconnect, besides talking more in a closed session.

Most People Overlook Artificial Intelligence Despite Flawless Advice

If you were convinced you knew the way home, would you still turn on your GPS?

Army scientists recently attempted to answer a similar question due to an ongoing concern that artificial intelligence, which can be opaque and frustrating to many people, may not be helpful in battlefield decision making.

“The U.S. Army continues to push the modernization of its forces, with notable efforts including the development of smartphone-based software for real-time information delivery such as the Android Tactical Assault Kit, or ATAK, and the allocation of significant funding towards researching new AI and machine learning methods to assist command and control personnel,” said Dr. James Schaffer, scientist for RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory, the Army’s corporate research laboratory (ARL), at ARL West in Playa Vista, California.

According to Schaffer, despite these advances, a significant gap in basic knowledge about the use of AI still exists, and it is unknown which factors of AI will or will not help military decision-making processes.

2 February 2019

Intel Chiefs Testify on Global Threats, Cybersecurity and Elections By Steve Stransky Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 5:09 PM

By Steve Stransky

On Jan. 29, the heads of six agencies in the U.S. intelligence community deliveredannual testimony in front of the Senate intelligence committee about global threats to U.S. national security. As could be expected, the nature and scope of contemporary cyber threats and electoral security was of significant interest at the hearing, which included the director of national intelligence, the CIA director, and the FBI director. The DNI is scheduled to provide similar testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 6.

The annual worldwide threats briefing provides the public with insight into the usually secret world of U.S. intelligence. The majority of intelligence products, assessments, and reports are classified and (excluding leaks) rarely made available to the public. Intelligence briefings to Congress are often conducted in a closed setting to allow for the protection of sensitive and classified information. Even funding of the intelligence community is mostly classified: The public knows the total budget appropriated to the intelligence agencies in a given fiscal year—approximately $81.5 billion in Fiscal 2018—how this budget is allocated among particular programs and activities is classified.

31 January 2019


GOVERNMENTS AND COMPANIES worldwide are investing heavily in artificial intelligence in hopes of new profits, smarter gadgets, and better health care. Financier and philanthropist George Soros told the World Economic Forum in Davos Thursday that the technology may also undermine free societies and create a new era of authoritarianism.

“I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes,” Soros said. He made an example of China, repeatedly calling out the country’s president, Xi Jinping.

China’s government issued a broad AI strategy in 2017, asserting that it would surpass US prowess in the technology by 2030. As in the US, much of the leading work on AI in China takes place inside a handful of large tech companies, such as search engine Baidu and retailer and payments company Alibaba.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places

At first, technologists issued dystopian alarms about the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to destroy jobs. Then came a correction, with a wave of reassurances. Now, the discourse appears to be arriving at a more complicated understanding, suggesting that automation will bring neither apocalypse nor utopia, but instead both benefits and stress alike. Such is the ambiguous and sometimes disembodied nature of the “future of work” discussion. 

Hence the analysis presented here. Intended to bring often-inscrutable trends down to earth, the following report develops both backward and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 to assess past and upcoming trends as they affect both people and communities in the United States.

The report focuses on areas of potential occupational change rather than net employment losses or gains. Special attention is applied to digging beneath national top-line statistics to explore industry, geographical, and demographic variations. Finally, the report concludes by suggesting a comprehensive response framework for national and state-local policymakers.