Spy chief's warning: Our foes are now 'pouring money' into quantum computing and AI

The rise of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing is changing the world — and intelligence services must adapt in order to operate in an increasingly digital environment, the head of MI6 has warned.

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In his first public speech since taking the role of “C” in October 2020, Richard Moore, chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), discussed the challenges posed by the rapid evolution in technology.

While developments in computing like AI and quantum computing can provide society with what he described as “revolutionary advances,” Moore warned that they also lead to additional security threats which MI6 will need to face.

“Others would speak to you about the benefits of these new discoveries — and they are myriad — but I’m paid to look at the threat side of the ledger. MI6 deals with the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be — and the digital attack surface that criminals, terrorists and hostile states seek to exploit against us is growing exponentially,” he said, in a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Moore warned that China, Russia and Iran are the most significant nation-state threats

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