July 6, 2024 at 12:11 pm

Microsoft Has Created An Artificial Intelligence For The US Government That Can Work Without Any Internet Connection

by Melissa Triebwasser

Source: Unsplash/Chris Yang

They’re watching us.

We’ve always known it, but now they can do it completely disconnected from the internet.

Microsoft recently trained a new AI model that can operate completely free of the tethers of the internet, making it a powerful new tool in the hands of whoever deploys it.

And guess who that will be?

The technology was created to allow US intelligence agencies to analyze top-secret information without running the risk of leaking it to hackers or other nefarious groups with access to the internet.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had an isolated version – when isolated means it’s not connected to the internet – and it’s on a special network that’s only accessible by the US government,” William Chappell, Microsoft’s chief technology officer for strategic missions and technology, told Bloomberg News.

Source: Unsplash/Sergiu Nista

The CIA wants to make sure people know, their motives aren’t nefarious, they just want to win.

“There is a race to get generative AI onto intelligence data,” Sheetal Patel, assistant director of the CIA for the Transnational and Technology Mission Center, said at a security conference at Vanderbilt University in May. “The first country to use generative AI for their intelligence would win that race, and I want it to be us.”

There has long been a concern over the unintentional dispersal of sensitive data via AI chatbots,  with executives of some of the largest companies warning their employees about making use of the tech, citing risks of leaking sensitive or proprietary information.

That is magnified when it comes to the sensitive information being captured and chronicled by organizations like the CIA, who deal with classified intelligence data.

Source: Unsplash/Steve Johnson

But these organizations want to be able to leverage tools like AI to gather and sort information, hence the need for Microsoft’s “air-gapped” AI.

The technology is based on OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM, and will reportedly be available to just 10,000 users. The tool could allow agencies like the CIA to quickly analyze a wealth of classified data.

The CIA won the race, but what that means to lay-people remains to be seen.

If you enjoyed that story, check out what happened when a guy gave ChatGPT $100 to make as money as possible, and it turned out exactly how you would expect.