AI to help the UK fight against disinformation attacks
GCHQ suggests the use of artificial intelligence (AI) can help combat disinformation attacks in the UK. The use of AI can expose hostile foreign states from using disinformation to undermine UK democracy. So-called ‘deepfake’ video footage and digital audio transmissions being the two ways of misleading the public into believing things that aren’t true.
AI’s ability to process and analyse large amounts of data quickly, is key to tackling cyber attacks, child sex abuse and trafficking. The use of AI at GCHQ is now foremost at protecting the UK, its people and way of life. AI allows the agency’s highly experienced analysts to manage vast amounts of data and quickly enable them to handle any threat the UK might be subjected to, from protecting children to complex cyber security threats.
The evolution of AI technology is strategically important as a security tool, but its use also poses an ethical challenge to both GCHQ and society in general. Plans are being put in place at GCHQ to use AI in a more ethical way, to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability. The UK must integrate its use to protect defence, security and foreign policy.
Disinformation can be spread by nations or individuals, using AI enabled tools and techniques for political purposes, to shape public opinion and undermine trust. The same technology can also be used counteract this threat, by fact-checking online information, to identify whether it is true or false. Large amounts of fake information could, for instance, be generated at ‘troll-farms’ that could quickly spread across social media, to escalate unrest in society involving politics, race, and lately, the coronavirus pandemic.