The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has upgraded its approach to surveillance by focusing on a new “technology-first” strategy that sees it using deep learning, neural networks to scan big data in order to predict when and where trouble is likely to occur in the US.
Neural networks are large networks of traditional computers that are trained using algorithms to solve complex problems, thus making them artificially intelligent beyond their individual capabilities. They work in a similar way to the human nervous system. Different layers of the neural network examine different parts of the problem and combine their results to produce an answer.
In October 2015, the CIA opened the Directorate for Digital Innovation in order to “accelerate the infusion of advanced digital and cyber capabilities” – the first new directorate to be created by the government agency since 1963.