DHS Announces AI Task Force, Security Sprint On China Related Threats

The Department of Homeland Security announced a pair of initiatives that will directly feed into the United States’ strategies for defending critical infrastructure and essential services from cyber attacks, physical attacks, artificial intelligence and other threats.

In a speech this morning on the “State of the Homeland,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the department will stand up a new task force to guide the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies into departmental operations and scope out how both defenders and malicious actors may use them. Separately, it will also conduct a 90-day sprint to assess defensive capabilities and threats to the nation from the Chinese government across supply chains and critical infrastructure.

He framed both as efforts to position the department long-term to effectively manage the threat landscape of the future and avoid falling prey to “failures of imagination” around emerging threats like the kind that preceded the 9/11 attacks that spurred the creation of DHS.

“It is an especially challenging imperative to fulfill at a time not only of rapid change, but also of acute political divisiveness; when issues of homeland security that traditionally were unifying no longer are so, and when our adversaries continue to exploit innovations designed to bring us closer together, like social media, to push us apart,” Mayorkas said, according to prepared remarks.

The AI task force is designed to help DHS grapple with the myriad offensive and defensive security implications from a rapidly growing and evolving technology, as large language

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