Read: Sean Gourley, CEO & Founder of Primer – Interview Series, Unite.AI 

Unite.AI provides news and analysis of the latest developments in machine learning and AI technology and showcases emerging AI companies that deserve industry recognition. Founder and CEO Antoine Tardif sat down with Primer CEO Sean Gourley on the heels of Gourley’s keynote presentation at the Ai4 conference in Las Vegas about disinformation, information operations, and the AI arms race with China. 

They discussed the fast-changing mal/dis/misinformation (MDM) ecosystem, the rapid pace of AI technology advancements, the battle for control over online narratives, the manipulation of beliefs, and Primer’s role in helping government agencies and global enterprises monitor and respond to emerging threats from adversaries.

“Sean is a treasure trove of information regarding misinformation campaigns and government propaganda,” Tardif wrote. 

Excerpts from the interview include:

“All of this comes down to the world of opinion formation and the mechanics of how groups arrive at consensus. There’s a sub-branch of physics, computational physics, that’s been studying models of how opinions form, propagate, and are adopted,” said Gourley, who holds a PhD in physics from Oxford where his research as a Rhodes Scholar focused on complex systems and the mathematical patterns underlying modern warfare. 

When it comes to the thorny issue of determining truth, Gourley said, “The AI’s job is not to figure out who’s right. The AI’s job is to determine whether or not someone’s tried to actively influence you to believe one side or the other.”

He continued, “People will use artificial intelligence to attempt to persuade you. These are techniques that AI can enhance, and AI can also defend against. But we need to get away from this idea that AI can determine the truth because, oftentimes, the truth is perhaps less important than the battle for the narrative.”

“If an information operation has been conducted, we need to get real-time or near-real time understanding of what that looks like, what the motivations are, what the manipulations are, and start to act to either shut down those bot networks or start limiting the spread of that information,” Gourley said.

“We are in an AI arms race with China,” Gourley asserted. It’s a race the U.S. cannot afford to lose. “The winner of that race is going to have a very dominant military advantage over whoever is second place in that race. So China is going to pursue the components of artificial intelligence very aggressively.”

“And this is being recognized by the House Intelligence Committee,” he added. “As they’ve put together their Intelligence Authorization Act, they’ve called out, specifically, methods for detecting Chinese influence operations in the Caribbean, South America, Central America.”

Importantly, “The Intelligence Authorization Act also called out the ability to adopt artificial intelligence, the ability to use commercial off-the-shelf technologies, and the ability to deploy no code environments into these [intelligence community] organizations. There’s been some really constructive stuff coming off the Hill,” Gourley stated.

In concluding the interview, Gourley said Primer is “engaged in this mission to help support the U.S. and its allies to bring the best technology to put in the war fighter’s hands. We want more technology companies to come and join this fight.”

To learn more about Primer’s work with the defense and intelligence communities, visit
Read the full interview: Sean Gourley, CEO & Founder of Primer – Interview Series, Unite.AI

As information is increasingly weaponized for geopolitical gains, AI plays a crucial role in detecting disinformation, supporting de-escalation, and informing diplomacy in fast-changing environments such as Ukraine.

Fox Business News invited Mark Brunner, Primer’s head of Global Defense Strategy and a former U.S. Navy Commander, to join anchor Neil Cavuto in a discussion about Russia’s impending invasion of Ukraine. 

Brunner asserted that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is “a blatant violation of international law … and a tragic development for the Ukrainian people who voted for democracy and freedom.”

Brunner also emphasized the role disinformation plays in this new era of information-based warfare, where AI-fueled propaganda is designed to create widespread confusion and distrust.

“[Putin] is conducting a master class in a disinformation campaign using a hybrid warfare version of old school armor and tanks complemented by cybersecurity threats, artificial intelligence, and Russian propaganda to essentially create confusion in Ukraine, the U.S., and among our allies. Candidly, we’re playing catch up here.”

It’s exceedingly difficult to “keep up with the narrative and the pace that Putin is setting for this conflict,” Brunner added.

Veteran business journalist Neil Cavuto interviews Primer’s head of Global Defense Strategy, Mark Brunner, on Feb. 22, 2022.


Watch the full Fox Business News interview: “Putin Invasion is ‘Blatant Violation’ of International Law” (Feb. 22, 2022)

Indeed, processing, analyzing, and drawing actionable insights from immense volumes of rapidly changing data is extremely challenging. With finite time and limited human capital, it’s certain that significant amounts of vital information are often untapped or misunderstood.

Primer’s AI and machine learning solutions allow machines to do what they do well – empowering humans to focus on what they do best – making better decisions, faster.

Call to AI Action

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence determined in March, 2021 that the U.S. is not prepared to defend itself in the AI era and must act quickly to increase its AI capabilities. Almost one year later, on Feb. 17, 2022, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) echoed those concerns, and found that the majority of the Pentagon’s advanced AI capabilities for warfighting are “still in development” and not yet fielded. 

Primer recommends accelerated investment in AI technologies to equip the U.S. and its allies with the tools to combat this next generation of existential threats, including asymmetric disinformation and cyber campaigns, the erosion of democratic institutions and values, and increased strategic competition from our adversaries.

In high-stakes missions like these, front-line analysts, operators, and decision makers require customizable, high-performance AI models they can trust to allow them to act with agility and confidence on incoming information and achieve their mission objectives.

Why Primer

As the world continues to change rapidly, Primer is committed to partnering with organizations – across national security, civil services, financial, technology, and other critical industry sectors – to help them use AI to meet an ever-widening array of risk and security challenges and opportunities.

Whether that’s monitoring geopolitical events in real time, responding to cyber or physical security attacks, identifying disinformation campaigns, mitigating risk to brand reputation, predicting supply chain impact, tracking climate change effects, or allocating life-saving resources during natural disasters …

Primer automates the discovery and sharing of human knowledge with speed, precision, comprehension, and scale, putting the power of real-time information in the hands of change agents.

To learn more, contact Primer here.


At the recent Cipher Brief Threat Conference, NPR’s national security correspondent Greg Myre interviewed several U.S. intelligence experts to understand the most pressing threats to U.S. national security.

What rose to the surface? China and AI.

Myre describes the intelligence community’s current priorities in a story called “As U.S. Spies Look to the Future, One Target Stands Out: China.

“I call this entering the third epoch of intelligence,” said Sue Gordon, former advisor to five of the last six U.S. Presidents and the National Security Council, and current advisor to

Regarding prior counterterrorism efforts, Gordon added, we “realized that the world had become digital, and that we hadn’t been focusing on all the things we needed to. The rise of China happened during those years, and now you see us talking about Great Power competition.”

Clearly, the U.S. intelligence community is making a pivot to China. But how do they recruit the next generation of officers with the right talents and skills?

“The ideal candidate would be a fluent Mandarin speaker, with an advanced degree in artificial intelligence — and a willingness to work for a government salary,” wrote Myre.

That is “quite a unicorn…but they’re out there,” said Cynthia Strand, a 35-year CIA veteran who now leads global intelligence strategy for Primer.

“Imagine if you had a large cadre of good interns,” Strand said. “You want to put them on the tasks where they can cut their teeth and learn, and leave the higher thought work to people who have been trained and practicing for a long time.”

“Human intelligence remains critical, but technology keeps leaping forward,” Strand said.

“No one human being, no matter how exceptional they are, can consume and make sense of the volumes of data that are available. Machines can do that beautifully,” Strand added.

The story concludes citing Strand: “It’s just one example of how technology is redefining spycraft for a new era – an era that’s here to stay.”

Read and listen to the full NPR story here: