The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Intelligence Agencies

Some of society’s brightest minds have warned that artificial intelligence (AI) may lead to dangerous unintended consequences, yet leaders of the U.S. intelligence community—with its vast budgets and profound capabilities—have yet to decide who within these organizations is responsible for the ethics of their AI creations.  When a new capability is conceived or developed, the intelligence community does not assign anyone responsibility for anticipating how a new AI algorithm may go awry. If scenario-based exercises were conducted, the intelligence community provides no guidelines for deciding when a risk is too great and a system should not be built and assigns no authority to make such decisions.  Intelligence agencies use advanced algorithms to interpret the meaning of intercepted communications, identify persons of interest and anticipate major events within troves of data too large for humans…


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