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NSA Starting AI Security Center        09/29 06:30


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Security Agency is starting an artificial 
intelligence security center -- a crucial mission as AI capabilities are 
increasingly acquired, developed and integrated into U.S. defense and 
intelligence systems, the agency's outgoing director announced Thursday.

   Army Gen. Paul Nakasone said the center would be incorporated into the NSA's 
Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, where it works with private industry and 
international partners to harden the U.S. defense-industrial base against 
threats from adversaries led by China and Russia.

   "We maintain an advantage in AI in the United States today. That AI 
advantage should not be taken for granted," Nakasone said at the National Press 
Club, emphasizing the threat from Beijing in particular.

   Asked if the U.S. has detected either Russia or China trying to influence 
the 2024 U.S. presidential elections, Nakasone said, "We haven't seen that 
yet." He noted that a number of elections will take place around the world 
before that and said the U.S. would work with partners and allies to help deter 
any such efforts.

   China has in recent months stepped up cyber operations focused on U.S. and 
allied institutions that may include pre-positioning malware designed to 
disrupt military communications, cybersecurity researchers say. On Wednesday, 
the U.S. and Japan issued an alert saying Chinese hackers were targeting 
government, industrial, telecommunications and other entities that support 
their militaries.

   Nakasone was asked about using AI to automate the analysis of threat vectors 
and red-flag alerts -- and he reminded the audience that U.S. intelligence and 
defense agencies already use AI.

   "AI helps us, But our decisions are made by humans. And that's an important 
distinction," Nakasone said. "We do see assistance from artificial 
intelligence. But at the end of the day, decisions will be made by humans and 
humans in the loop."

   The AI security center's establishment follows an NSA study that identified 
securing AI models from theft and sabotage as a major national security 
challenge, especially as generative AI technologies emerge with immense 
transformative potential for both good and evil.

   Nakasone said it would become "NSA's focal point for leveraging foreign 
intelligence insights, contributing to the development of best practices 
guidelines, principles, evaluation, methodology and risk frameworks" for both 
AI security and the goal of promoting the secure development and adoption of AI 
within "our national security systems and our defense industrial base."

   He said it would work closely with U.S. industry, national labs, academia 
and the Department of Defense as well as international partners.

   Nakasone is to be succeeded as dual leader of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command 
by Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, his current deputy.

   The job puts one individual in charge of both U.S. cyber-defense and offense 
as well as the gathering of what is known as signals intelligence through 
telecommunications surveillance. Nakasone has led both organizations since May 

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