We were happy to announce today our 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 leveraging AI for a specific problem that an organization is trying to address. In this case, hostile powers are targeting overseas citizens with disinformation campaigns, aimed at turning public sentiment against Canadian soldiers, diplomats or other global affairs personnel stationed in those communities. Because AI is very good at finding “needles in haystacks,” it can target this disinformation, threats and other malicious content on social media and the darker corners of the internet. This in turn 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. 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.

The importance of this type of technology is clear, because while military bases and embassies are physically very secure – with a fence/walls, armed guards and a badge needed to get in – beyond the perimeter of these locations, no such barriers and protections exist. 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.

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.