We were happy to announce this week our artificial intelligence (AI) division, Xtract AI, has struck a new partnership with Canada’s Department of National Defence to build a prototype AI-driven misinformation and disinformation detection system. This system will be designed to warn Canadian officials when disinformation campaigns (communications campaigns designed to deceive the public into turning against Canadians) are launched against Canadian soldiers and officials living overseas.
These disinformation campaigns could result in potentially uncomfortable or violent confrontations with a misinformed public. By providing early warning on these campaigns, the Xtract AI system can enable Canadian authorities to launch pre-emptive communications and community outreach campaigns designed to counteract the disinformation.
This is a great example of how AI can extend physical security operations beyond the perimeter of a facility – such as a military base or embassy. But, it’s important to understand that this capability can also be used in the context of securing stadiums, entertainment venues, theaters, casinos and more. As disinformation, false narratives and other threats accelerate online and throughout social media platforms, it’s more important than ever for organizations to understand how disinformation could be used against them – whether it’s to incite protests at events, to slander an important executive or player, or even to manipulate the stock of a company. This type of capability also can provide vital intelligence for detecting potential physical threats. Many times, attackers talk about their plans on social media ahead of the event, or make threats against people that organizations need to be aware of.
We are always careful to warn people that AI is not a “cure all” for security – but it can be the basis of some very powerful security applications. Its ability to find “needles in haystacks” is well suited to the job of finding disinformation, threats and other malicious content on social media and the darker corners of the internet. And, this can provide important intelligence that security pros can operationalize – whether through beefing up security in anticipation of a protest, protecting individuals who are the subject of threats, or protecting citizens overseas from malicious disinformation campaigns.
And in this case, there is the added benefit of potentially providing a layer of protection to Canadian nationals serving their country overseas – and that’s an application we can all feel good about.