The CIA is gearing up to release its own AI tool that will be similar to ChatGPT. Pexels

The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is working on a ChatGPT-like AI tool in a bid to improve its intelligence capabilities. This program was revealed by Bloomberg's Peter Martin and Katrina Manson earlier this week.

The chatbot is a brainchild of the CIA's Open Source Enterprise unit and is expected to radically overhaul the way intelligence agencies process data.

The CIA's director of Open Source Enterprise, Randy Nixon, shed some light on the need for such a groundbreaking tool.

"We've gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going," Nixon told Bloomberg.

What do we know so far?

"We have to find the needles in the needle field," he explained. Apparently, Nixon's division is prepping to distribute the AI tool to US intelligence agencies soon. Currently, the agencies grapple with the backbreaking task of analysing the vast expanse of information available online.

"Then you can take it to the next level and start chatting and asking questions of the machines to give you answers, also sourced. Our collection can just continue to grow and grow with no limitations other than how much things cost," he said.

The CIA's AI chatbot will reportedly leverage advanced generative AI techniques. However, details about the AI tool CIA is using as the foundation of its chatbot are still scarce. Moreover, the CIA is mum on the training methods employed.

Unlike Google's rumoured AI assistant that will offer life advice and a slew of other generative AI platforms, this initiative is committed to providing sources and generated answers, while ensuring transparency and adding validation.

CIA's AI tool: Use cases

The primary objective of the AI tool will be to facilitate efficient information, retrieval and summarisation. Overall, it will enable intelligence agents to swiftly access, summarise and analyse large datasets.

On top of that, users will be able to engage with the chatbot and ask follow-up questions to obtain more detailed responses. The CIA has remained tight-lipped about the names of the intelligence agencies that will benefit from this technological leap.

However, the tool will probably be accessible to the broader US intelligence community, including the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), NSA (National Security Agency) and the US military.

It is worth noting that lawmakers or the general public will not be able to use the AI tool. The safeguarding of the chatbot is the biggest concern since there have been some incidents of data acquisition by federal agencies and law enforcement.

The development is also a response to China's attempt to become a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. With notable people like Microsoft president Brad Smith warning AI can be weaponised, the US government is undertaking comprehensive initiatives to address AI risks.