CIA visits popular Austin fest looking for 'Supercharged' spy tech
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hit up a famous tech festival held in Austin every year to look to connect with brains that can help them supercharge technology and keep pace with foreign adversaries. On Monday, Deputy Director David Cohen addressed a collective of more than 500 people at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.
For more than three decades, SXSW has been the destination for catching the newest trends and upcoming headliners of the music and film scene. The SXSW Interactive events have also become the destination for showcasing emerging technology in various spheres.
It was the audience of the emerging tech space that the CIA wanted to tap into and scheduled a one-hour session titled "Spies Supercharged: Tech and the Future of CIA" on Monday, March 13, at the event.
CIA looking to pick brains
The CIA is reaching out to those interested in this space after realizing th
The U.S. is lacking behind its adversaries in many upcoming areas of technology. Earlier this month, Interesting Engineering reported how China was denting U.S. tech dominance.
According to a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the U.S. lacked behind China in 37 of the 44 areas tracked by the Institute and also was home to the top 10 research institutions for technologies like hypersonics and advanced aircraft engines.
The CIA, in its presentation, said that the intelligence agency found itself more exposed and vulnerable than before since countries like China had increased their surveillance capabilities.
Calling the tech sector one of the great engines of the U.S. economy, the CIA said that it is focused on protecting the US economy from the use of technology by adversaries and was looking to team up with the private sector to supercharge its operations.
The agency also listed out areas such as quantum computing, battery and semiconductor technology, biotechnology, and wireless technology, where it was seeking external expertise. This could be in the form of collaborations or even individuals joining the agency.
Another area of interest for the agency is artificial intelligence (AI), where it wants to gauge the developments made by adversaries as well as find methods to maintain the cover of its agents in a world where surveillance has become commonplace.
The CIA also has job openings posted on its website for various positions that require tech credentials. But a famous festival, that's some out-of-the-box thinking from the intelligence agency.
This report carries information that first appeared on Bloomberg.
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