In the U.S., the National Security Agency is starting an artificial intelligence security center – an initiative of increasing importance as AI technologies are developed and integrated into U.S. defense and intelligence systems.

The center will be incorporated into the NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, where it partners with private industry and international groups to strengthen the U.S. defense-industrial base against adversarial behaviors.

The NSA’s AI center

“We maintain an advantage in AI in the United States today. That AI advantage should not be taken for granted,” says Army General Paul Nakasone.

The U.S. intelligence and defense agencies have used AI-based technologies for quite some time, however, the agencies reiterate that decisions are made by humans.

“We do see assistance from artificial intelligence. But at the end of the day, decisions will be made by humans and [with] humans in the loop.”

AI center development

The AI security center’s development comes on the heels of an NSA-funded study that identified the security of AI models as a national security challenge, particularly as generative AI technologies continue to evolve.

The new NSA AI center is intended to become the agency’s focal point for extracting foreign intelligence insights and a place from which best practices, guidelines, principles, methodologies and risk frameworks can be developed.

The center will work closely with U.S. industry groups, national research labs, academia and the Department of Defense, among other entities.

The need for AI security

According to the NSA, AI security means protecting systems from “learning, doing and revealing the wrong things” as well as safeguarding them from cyber threats and ensuring the protection of national intellectual property.

As the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) acquires AI-based technologies, including its own ChatGPT-style tool, the need for an artificial intelligence security center will become even more apparent.

CIA and AI

America’s spy services have adopted an “AI-first” approach to spycraft and departments have been encouraged to use AI, according to Rachel Grunspan, of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

In July, Grunspan said that she expects for AI to be used in hybrid war games and simulations, among other things.

“Anything that is getting AI in the hands of individual officers regardless of their job, regardless of their role, regardless of their background, technical or not and just maximizing the capacity of the entire workforce. That is where I see us going,” Ms. Grunspan said at the Intelligence and National Security Summit, explaining the value of AI within intelligence endeavors.

Further thoughts

In essence, the NSA’s establishment of an AI security center will strategically bolster national cyber security, enhancing the U.S’ competitive advantage when it comes to identifying and preventing cyber threats.

For more AI insights, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. Get the full story about the NSA’s new AI center here. Lastly, to receive timely cyber security insights and cutting-edge analyses, please sign up for the cybertalk.org newsletter.