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Artificial Intelligence and UK National Security: Policy Considerations

Alexander Babuta, Marion Oswald and Ardi Janjeva
Occasional Papers, 27 April 2020
Organised Crime and Policing, UK Integrated Review 2021, UK, Intelligence, Law and Ethics, Technology, Europe
Artificial intelligence is both an opportunity and a challenge for the UK intelligence community.

RUSI was commissioned by GCHQ to conduct an independent research study into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for national security purposes. The aim of this project is to establish an independent evidence base to inform future policy development regarding national security uses of AI. The findings are based on in-depth consultation with stakeholders from across the UK national security community, law enforcement agencies, private sector companies, academic and legal experts, and civil society representatives. This was complemented by a targeted review of existing literature on the topic of AI and national security. 

The research has found that AI offers numerous opportunities for the UK national security community to improve efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes. AI methods can rapidly derive insights from large, disparate datasets and identify connections that would otherwise go unnoticed by human operators. However, in the context of national security and the powers given to UK intelligence agencies, use of AI could give rise to additional privacy and human rights considerations which would need to be assessed within the existing legal and regulatory framework. For this reason, enhanced policy and guidance is needed to ensure the privacy and human rights implications of national security uses of AI are reviewed on an ongoing basis as new analysis methods are applied to data. 

national security uses of ai

BANNER IMAGE: Courtesy of putilov_denis / Adobe Stock

Alexander Babuta
Research Fellow, National Security

Alexander Babuta is a Research Fellow at RUSI. His research covers a range of areas relating to national security, intelligence policy,... read more

Dr Marion Oswald
Associate Fellow

Marion is the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Fellow in Law at the University of Northumbria, an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services... read more

Ardi Janjeva
Research Analyst

Ardi is a Research Analyst in organised crime and policing. His research currently focuses on the applications of intelligence and... read more

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