Richard Moore insists that humans are capable of uncovering secrets far beyond the reach of artificial intelligence
Humans will continue to play a vital role in protecting against hostile foreign states and terrorist groups in the era of artificial intelligence, according to the UK’s top spy Richard Moore.
Speaking at the British embassy in Prague on Wednesday, the MI6 chief stated that, while AI has made information “infinitely more accessible,” such technology will never put human spies out of business.
“In fact, the opposite is likely to be true,” Moore said. “As AI trawls the ocean of open source, there will be even greater value in landing, with a well-cast fly, the secrets that lie beyond the reach of its nets,” he said, adding that “the unique characteristics of human agents in the right places will become still more significant.”
The spy chief explained that human agents are never “just passive collectors of information,” but can be tasked and directed and can “identify new questions we didn’t know to ask” and could sometimes influence decisions inside a government or terrorist group.
“Human intelligence in the age of artificial intelligence will increasingly be defined as those things that machines cannot do, albeit we should expect the frontier of machine capability to advance with startling speed,” he predicted.
Moore’s comments come after the UK Home Office issued a report on Tuesday in which it claimed that British intelligence agencies must “ruthlessly prioritize finite resources to respond to terrorism,” citing a persistent threat from extremists who are becoming “increasingly unpredictable” and harder to detect and investigate.
Unveiling the government’s new counterterrorism strategy at an event in Westminster, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said threats had become “more diverse, dynamic and complex,” and “the risk from terrorism is rising, albeit from a lower base and not as high as a few years ago.”
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