PRAGUE — The head of Britain’s MI6 agency said on Wednesday that British spies have used artificial intelligence to impede the supply of weapons to Russia, predicting that Western spies will one day die. More and more focus must be on tracking the use of artificial intelligence by hostile states.
In a speech describing machine learning as both a huge potential asset and a major threat, Richard Moore said his staff at Britain’s foreign intelligence agency “are combining their skills with artificial intelligence and bulk data to identify and prevent the flow of weapons to Russia for use.” against Ukraine.”
Calling China “the most important strategic focus” for his agency, Moore said, “we will increasingly be tasked with gathering intelligence on how hostile nations are using AI.” in harmful, reckless and unethical ways.”
Moore, who has previously warned that the West is falling behind rivals in the AI race, said his service “together with our allies, intends to win the race.” to master the ethical and safe use of AI.”
But he said AI will not replace the need for human espionage, arguing that the “human factor” will remain crucial in an age of rapidly evolving machine learning.
“As AI scours the open source ocean, there is greater value in landing, with a well-thrown fly, secrets beyond the reach of its nets,” he said.
He argues that “the unique characteristics of human agents in the right places will become even more important,” highlighting the ability of spies to “influence decisions within an organization.” government or terrorist group.”
Moore also told an audience at the British ambassador’s residence in Prague that Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine had dried up and “there seems little prospect of Russian forces regaining momentum”.
He said Ukraine’s counterattack was proving “hard work”, but he was optimistic it would be successful.
More shows the unshakable decline of the destabilizing autocracy that Putin is leading.”
He accused Russia of using Wagner as a tool of imperialism in Africa, offering leaders in the Central African Republic, Mali and other countries a “Faustian pact” in exchange for the transition assignment of mineral resources to Russia.
Mr. Moore also criticized Iran for fueling the conflict in Ukraine by supplying Russia with drones and other weapons – a policy he said “has caused internal controversy in Ukraine”. the highest level of the regime in Tehran.”
Speaking publicly about espionage is still something of a novelty for British intelligence agencies. The government even refused to confirm the existence of MI6 until 1992, and public speeches by its leaders were rare.
Moore chose to speak Wednesday in the Czech capital, home of the 1968 “Prague Spring” freedom movement that was crushed by Soviet tanks.
Moore’s only other public speech since becoming head of the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, nearly three years ago also addressed the power and threat posed by AI. In his November 2021 speech, he accused the West of being slow to account for the disruptive impact of AI and falling behind rivals that are “pouring money and ambitions” on AI and other cutting-edge technologies.
In that speech, he said China was the agency’s “biggest priority” and said Britain and its allies “must stand up and stop Russian activity that goes against the rules-based system.” international.”
Three months later, Russia invaded Ukraine.