NSA Working on ‘Explainable’ AI Capabilities

Jeff Brody

Neil Ziring, technical director for capabilities at the National Security Agency, said the capacity of artificial intelligence for "explainable" capabilities is vital for implementing the technology, Cyberscoop reported Friday. Ziring told the publication that AI’s ability to provide context on recommended actions “will be most important” when it comes to developing AI or machine learning-based technologies. 

NSA is working on using emerging technologies to improve cybersecurity procedures and potentially assist in offensive operations through the U.S. Cyber Command. In addition, the agency has partnered with the University of Texas System to conduct a five-year machine learning research effort under the NSA Technology Transfer Program. 

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the agency’s director and a 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, noted at a prior congressional hearing that he wants to prioritize the promotion of human operators' trust in machine learning for mission-critical procedures. He added that NSA wants to develop “self-healing networks” that identify system vulnerabilities and rapidly resolve security issues.

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