MI5 announces it has been working with a non-profit AI on national security since 2017

MI5 and the Alan Turing Institute announced today that they have an ongoing partnership focused on applying artificial intelligence (AI) research to meet national security challenges.

The partnership is part of the Alan Turing Institute’s defense and security program, launched in 2017 to ensure a safe and prosperous society, including applying AI ethics to defense and security projects.

MI5 has decided to unveil this partnership today to enable closer collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute and its academic stakeholders. The security service often resorts to new technologies to identify and mitigate threats to the UK’s national security and protect the country, including the use of data science and AI, he added.

Part of the collaboration is helping MI5 keep up to date with cutting-edge AI approaches that can be used to respond more flexibly and quickly to threats to the UK’s national security. It is already using AI to protect the country, the security service revealed. For example, it uses the technology to identify dangerous weapons. AI will be used to scan and sift through images that may contain weapons before being passed on to experts to assess the need for further action.

“Britain faces a broader and more complex range of threats, with the clues hidden in increasingly fragmented data,” said Ken McCallum, Director-General of MI5. “MI5 has a long and proud history of innovating and using leading-edge technology in an ethical way; Artificial intelligence is another example of this and a key capability in MI5’s toolkit.”

“By working with the Alan Turing Institute, MI5 can draw on world-leading expertise to ensure our use of AI keeps pace with the challenges we face and allows us to keep the country safe,” he added added.

As the UK’s national institute for data science and AI, the Alan Turing Institute specializes in developing powerful, ethical AI and offers MI5 the opportunity to make the most of its research and expertise in developing its own AI tools, the institute said. It added that this also means MI5 will be able to contribute more openly to the development of AI in the UK for the benefit of the general public.

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