Artificial Intelligence vs. the Analyst

In recent months, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen a vast increase into its efficiency and advancements. The benefits of developing AI are clear, with growing software developments that are designed to save time and money into businesses. Consequently, this leaves the question: are these innovations likely to replace human analysts?

The rise of “machine learning” has always had the role of efficient assistance rather than replacement. However, a new intelligence company called Primer, have now developed a product that is part intended to augment the job of an intelligence analyst. Primer takes both the reading of that information, as well as the writing of the report, and automates the processes using AI. The CEO of the company, Sean Gourley, argued that “analysts get tired and can miss data if given vast quantities”.

Despite this comment being a strong argument, as an Analyst at Neotas I can safely believe that the human perspective of data analytics is critical to influencing the interpretation of data. Understanding what it means to be human and gaining first hand experiences in everyday life can be the difference to finding the meaning behind information rather than facts and figures.

In conclusion, the growth of machine learning cannot be ignored and if anything, just be encouraged to assist intelligence gathering. Nonetheless, I argue it will be a long time before AI processers can configure human interaction and meaning. In the meantime, whilst this debate continues, AI can point towards the right information to help aid research and develop a human analyst’s skills. Whilst the consumer still wants meaningful answers, our humanity will continue to be the strongest asset.

By Reece Wickens

Week one at Neotas

As the newest member of the team, let me introduce myself: I’m Sam and I started at Neotas a week ago. If you search for me online it’s likely that you’ll find several pictures of a man who is not me competing in Motocross competitions, or perhaps you’ll find a man in Utah who plays in a jazz band (also not me, unfortunately). If you’re lucky you may be able to find a twitter account which is possibly me, but with no real way of verifying.

I’ve learnt a lot in the last week, from experts in cyber-security, military techniques and law enforcement, but the thing I’ve learnt the most is that every piece of the internet is useful information if you know how to use it, and knowing how to use it will uncover entire worlds that even the subjects of investigations believe they have disguised. Neotas know how to use the internet. Before I’d even started here the team had found information about me that I didn’t know was online and had forgotten existed at all. Before I’d set foot in this building, the Neotas team knew me better than most people I’ve known for many years. Thankfully I have nothing to hide.

This is the power of OSINT, and in a world where businesses are held more and more accountable for the people they employ, OSINT is crucial in determining where to invest, how to invest and whether the character reference promising that a person is “honest and trustworthy” is realistic. Credit checks can’t tell you if your candidates are abusive online, criminal records checks say nothing about your company director’s hidden associates, and CVs don’t always enclose all the facts about the places your employee has worked. Traditional due diligence is no longer enough, and I am very excited to be part of a company leading the way in developing OSINT processes, because I am certain it’s not too long until OSINT investigations are the standard practice in due diligence.