Artificial Intelligence and U.S. Intelligence: The State of AI Development in the U.S. Intelligence Community

At present, many intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), are actively exploring the application of artificial intelligence in intelligence work. They have funded several private companies' AI projects in the field of national security intelligence. According to information disclosed by the CIA's deputy director of technology development, the CIA alone currently supports 137 different artificial intelligence projects.

At present, the CIA mainly conducts activities through its venture capital fund In-Q-Tel, which mainly provides venture capital for companies and projects that the CIA believes are of great significance to current and future national security and intelligence. In fact, In-Q-Tel has invested in several companies serving national security and intelligence agencies. Including "Google Earth" that provides satellite imagery, Palantir, a software company specializing in massive data processing technology, and Cylance, a network security company, all of these companies have achieved considerable success in this field. Similar to the CIA, the DIA proposed the development of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence in the "2014 DIA Innovation Strategic Plan" released in 2014. However, a big difference between DIA and CIA in terms of artificial intelligence technology requirements is that DIA pays more attention to obtaining the analysis and processing results of artificial intelligence technology in a short time, and compresses the time required for intelligence data extraction, analysis and application. In order to prepare data for the application of artificial intelligence as soon as possible, DIA announced its Machine-Assisted Analytic Rapid-Repository System (MARS) plan in May 2019, which aims to assist human analysts in understanding the content and credibility of artificial intelligence algorithms and enhancing the ability of the two to work together.

As a country with absolute voice in the global artificial intelligence field and intelligence capabilities, the United States has a huge first-mover advantage in the development of artificial intelligence in the field of intelligence. As the leader of artificial intelligence development in the US intelligence community, CIA has discovered and supported a large number of artificial intelligence projects through the In-Q-Tel fund, enabling the intelligence community to obtain many important innovative applications. In particular, the natural language processing and pattern recognition technologies widely used in the fields of signal intelligence and image intelligence have made major breakthroughs, which shows that they will still be in the leading position for a long time in the future.