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Microsoft made an AI model for spies that's not connected to the internet

Jyoti Mann   

Microsoft made an AI model for spies that's not connected to the internet
  • Microsoft has developed a secret AI model exclusively for US spy agencies, Bloomberg reported.
  • The GPT-4-based model is "air-gapped," meaning it's not connected to the internet.

Microsoft created a secret AI model for US spy agencies that is not connected to the internet.

William Chappell, its strategic missions and technology CTO, told Bloomberg that Microsoft spent 18 months working on the model, which is "air-gapped" so it's secure and can only be accessed by the US government.

Chappell told the outlet that the model based on GPT-4 is now live, can answer questions, and will be able to write code. It can read and analyze files but cannot learn from them to stop sensitive information entering the platform, he reportedly said. It is yet to be tested and accredited by the intelligence agencies.

In an article published by the CIA in December, Dennis J. Gleeson, Jr, a former director of strategy, wrote: "Today's chatbots are not intelligent, but they are innovative, exciting, and full of potential in the context of the volumes and varieties of information the [intelligence community] collects, processes, triages, and uses in support of its global mission."

He added that AI is a "strategic shift in how we think about interacting with massive volumes of data."

Sheetal Patel, assistant director of the CIA for the Transnational and Technology Mission Center, reportedly told a security conference last month that countries are racing to "get generative AI onto intelligence data," adding that she wants the US to win the race.

Intelligence agencies have long wanted to use AI to handle data more efficiently. The Directorate of National Intelligence, which acts as the head of the intelligence community, launched the AIM Initiative in 2019 to help agencies, including the CIA, to process large amounts of data and "fundamentally change the way it produces intelligence."

The CIA is even hiring an "Artificial Intelligence Specialist," according to the careers section of its website, to help realize its AI ambitions. The role involves lending a hand with data processing for an annual salary of up to $172,000.

Microsoft and the CIA didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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