Two Research Projects Awarded €3 Million Funding within KIC Call ‘Data & Intelligence’

19 mei 2022
Auteur: HSD Foundation

NWO has granted funding to two research projects within the KIC call for ‘Data and Intelligence’. Consortia comprising researchers, businesses and social organisations will contribute towards improved, usable intelligence products to meet the needs of intelligence and security professionals during operational, tactical, and strategic assignments. Two projects will receive almost €3 million over a maximum term of six years starting mid-2022, with social and private partners contributing over €800,000 more in co-funding, both in kind and in cash.


In a constantly changing society and geopolitical world, information is crucial to public and national security. Security professionals need to have timely, accurate and focused information to do their work. This information is essential to the struggle against complex undermining criminality, to support the entire justice system and forensic research, and to the work done by the intelligence, military, and emergency services.


The call opened in November 2020 after which multiple consortia were constituted and submitted their pre-proposals in April and final submissions in August 2021. Now, two final consortia will research the responsible use of artificial intelligence for a safer, more secure society.


Consortium 1) Hybrid Explainable Workflows for Security and Threat Intelligence

The first consortium consists of i.a. HSD Partners TU Delft and Leiden University and is led by professor Fabio Massacci of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The consortium will focus on the use of AI in intelligence gathering. In research into threats to safety and security, people and AI collaborate to obtain actionable intelligence. Their sources and methods often have significant uncertainties and biases. Experts are aware of these limitations but lack the formal means to handle these uncertainties in their daily work.


This project will invent a ‘metadata of uncertainty’ for threat intelligence (in both machine-readable and also human-interpretable forms) and validate it empirically. Intelligence agencies will then be able to explicitly consider the trade-off between the accuracy, proportionality, privacy, and cost-effectiveness of investigations. This will contribute to the responsible use of AI to create a safer, more secure society. (More info in Dutch)


Professor of Digitalisation & Public Policy at Leiden University, Bram Klievink, explains: "In all kinds of analysis processes within government -for example in intelligence regarding security threats- people and AI often work together in a 'hybrid' process to obtain and process useful information. This is accompanied by significant uncertainties and biases. Such as models that are not perfect or situations when certain data is not (fully) shared for operational or strategic reasons. Or (un)consciously misleading sources are used."


Consortium 2: AI4Intelligence: From Multimodal Data to Trustworthy Evidence in Court

The second consortium led by prof. dr. Marcel Worring of the University of Amsterdam and consisting of active members of the working group Security, Peace and Justice of NL AI Coalition (NL AIC) and Security Delta HSD, studies the use of AI in assessing evidence used in court. Law enforcement has to process huge amounts of data derived from online platforms, digital marketplaces, or communication services. Finding evidence in such large collections of text, images, and other data and bringing this evidence to court is a time-consuming process. Artificial Intelligence tools are a promising way to make this more efficient and effective, but as yet no clear legal regulations for such AI tools are in place. In AI4Intelligence we allow AI tool development, the use of these tools by investigators, and legal regulations to go hand in hand so that investigations can lead to trustworthy evidence that is admissible in court.


Knowledge and Innovation Covenant Security

The NWO Call KIC Mission Data and Intelligence contributes to the overarching objectives of the 2020-2023 Knowledge and Innovation Covenant Security (KIC Security). HSD Office supported the set up of this call, alignment of partners, matchmaking and consortium building in our role as chair of both the working group 'maatschappelijk missies en innovatie programma' (MMIP) Data and Intelligence on behalf of ministery of Justice & Security and, the working group Security, Peace and Justice in the NL AI Coalition.


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