The State of Research on the Integration of AI and U.S. Intelligence: Study by Think Tanks and Scholars

The United States has a large number of defense and national security think tanks, and they meet the official policy consulting needs of the United States through professional research. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the Brookings Institution, and the RAND Corporation are all core think tanks that provide policy advice for US national security, and each of these think tanks has a dedicated artificial intelligence research group or plan. And commissioned by members of the intelligence community to carry out a large number of research results are reflected in the official documents issued by the US government and military.

In July 2017, the Belfer Center of Harvard University conducted research for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and published the report "Artificial Intelligence and National Security" before the official release of artificial intelligence documents related to national defense. The report made recommendations for the use of artificial intelligence in the intelligence community and other key defense areas, and many parts of it were absorbed into the report of the same name released by the Congressional Research Institute in August 2020. In addition, the report also analyzed the unemployment problem caused by the automation of military and intelligence jobs, which was also echoed in the "American Artificial Intelligence Initiative: Annual Report" released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2020. CNAS has also released 6 reports related to artificial intelligence since 2018. In the report "Artificial Intelligence and International Security" released in July 2018, the center discussed the application of artificial intelligence in the aspects of military situational awareness and intelligence collection and processing. Similarly, in recent years, RAND has also been entrusted by the director of JAIC and Air Force ISR to conduct research on issues related to the use of artificial intelligence in the field of national security. In the report "Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence" released in 2020, RAND sorted out the definition of artificial intelligence and its current application in the US military. The report briefly summarizes the use of artificial intelligence in intelligence processing such as image recognition and text analysis, especially analyzes the possible ethical and strategic risks of using artificial intelligence to assist ISR operations.

Generally speaking, due to technical limitations or confidentiality, the research on the application of artificial intelligence in the military by think tanks and scholars in various countries is still mainly focused on the application of intelligent hardware. They did not discuss in detail the application and practice of artificial intelligence in intelligence work. Although some scholars have raised the ethical issues in the use of artificial intelligence in intelligence agencies, they mainly focus on the technical security of artificial intelligence, while avoiding the "human-machine relationship" issue that intelligence personnel are concerned about.

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