There are three priority areas the National Security Agency (NSA) is focusing on regarding artificial intelligence (AI), including what the nation’s adversaries are doing with the technology, how the agency can best use it, and how to ensure the technology is trustworthy where it is being used, the head of the agency’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center (CCC) said on Wednesday.

“We are putting a lot of resources and efforts to better understand what’s nation state activity related to AI,” Morgan Adamski, the CCC director, said during a discussion hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. “How do they intend to use it? What are the potential targets?”

Discussions about AI are going on everywhere in the cybersecurity community and the NSA has been “tracking the technology and so we’re, we’re ahead of it, but we’ve got to keep up with it,” Adamski said. NSA is pooling its expertise as part of the larger “conversation” around AI, she said.

The second priority is leveraging AI to NSA’s benefit, which goes beyond an AI-enabled cyber defense program to improve “processes and workflows,” she said. “Which means, if there are opportunities to use AI to better scan networks, to better understand vulnerabilities, to determine a patching strategy, how can that benefit us and how can it benefit our partners?”

The NSA is also concerned with how technologies that rely on AI can be compromised, Adamski said.

“How do we have trust in it, trust and reliability and availability obviously, and what can be done to disrupt the usual operation of it and defeat it as a capability?” she said.

The CCC was stood up in 2020 to work collaboratively with the defense industrial base to share information about, and mitigate, cybersecurity threats in an unclassified setting.