Intelligence agency GCHQ has signed a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host classified material and boost the use of artificial intelligence for espionage purposes.
Although the procurement of cloud infrastructure from AWS was signed off by GCHQ, it will also be used by sister spy services MI5 and MI6, and the Ministry of Defence during joint operations, according to the Financial Times.
The deal had not been made public and was signed earlier this year, according to the report. It is worth £500m to £1bn over the next decade, FT sources said.
In a February opinion piece for the Financial Times, GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said that the agencies “expect AI to be at the heart of this transformation and we want to be transparent about its use.”
So-called “good AI” would allow “analysts to deal with ever increasing volumes and complexity of data, improving the quality and speed of decision-making.”
This could include identifying and countering troll farms peddling fake news, as well as tracking networks that traffic people, drugs or weapons, Fleming noted.
AWS has a