In a recent panel at the World Economic Forum, FBI Director Christopher Wray rang the alarm on the national security threat posed by Beijing’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) program. Director Wray stated that Beijing is not only operating a larger hacking program than any other nation, but its AI program is also “not constrained by the rule of law”.
At the World Economic Forum, Director Wray further explained how the advancement of AI technology has created a new challenge. Wray outlined how malicious AI programs can cause significant damage on a widespread scale by exploiting flaws in computer systems and exploiting machine learning algorithms. He also outlined how such malicious AI programs can be used to manipulate popular opinion and influence political debates.
The potential of AI technology to be exploited for malicious purposes is a major concern for governments around the world, including the United States. Director Wray warns that the US must be proactive in taking steps to protect against the misuse of AI technology by other nations like China. The US seeking out partnerships with likeminded allies to protect against malicious AI is one way of putting such measures in place. But Director Wray emphasized the need to stay ahead of the curve by investing in research and developing its own AI technology.
The United States is already on the path to doing just that, as the U.S. Department of Defense has already outlined plans to invest significantly in AI technology in the coming years. China has also invested heavily in AI technology and Beijing’s program is still evolving. As AI technology continues to evolve, so too do the threat posed by Beijing’s program. This is why it is imperative that the US take steps to protect against any malicious use of AI technology, no matter its origin.