Artificial Intelligence and UK National Security: Policy Considerations

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Artificial intelligence is both an opportunity and a challenge for the UK intelligence community.

RUSI was commissioned by GCHQ to conduct an independent research study into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for national security purposes. The aim of this project is to establish an independent evidence base to inform future policy development regarding national security uses of AI. The findings are based on in-depth consultation with stakeholders from across the UK national security community, law enforcement agencies, private sector companies, academic and legal experts, and civil society representatives. This was complemented by a targeted review of existing literature on the topic of AI and national security.

The research has found that AI offers numerous opportunities for the UK national security community to improve efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes. AI methods can rapidly derive insights from large, disparate datasets and identify connections that would otherwise go unnoticed by human operators. However, in the context of national security and the powers given to UK intelligence agencies, use of AI could give rise to additional privacy and human rights considerations which would need to be assessed within the existing legal and regulatory framework. For this reason, enhanced policy and guidance is needed to ensure the privacy and human rights implications of national security uses of AI are reviewed on an ongoing basis as new analysis methods are applied to data.


Alexander Babuta

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Dr Marion Oswald MBE

Associate Fellow

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Ardi Janjeva

Former Research Fellow

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