As technology continues to advance and evolve, it is likely that we will see developments in the field of open-source intelligence (OSINT) investigations in 2023. These developments could include new tools and techniques for collecting, analysing, and disseminating information, as well as changes to the way that OSINT investigations are conducted. And not forgetting of course, the arrival of ChatGPT!

The OSINT world is now moving towards the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These technologies can help investigators sift through vast amounts of data more efficiently, identify patterns and connections that might not be immediately apparent, and automate certain aspects of the investigation process. For example, an AI-powered tool might be able to scan social media posts and other online sources for keywords and phrases that are relevant to an investigation, or to analyse the tone and sentiment of these sources to identify potential leads or areas of interest.

But now back to ChatGPT, if you haven’t seen or used it yet, where have you been? Short for “Generative Pre-training Transformer”) it’s a machine learning model developed by OpenAI that is designed to generate human-like text. As well as writing music, essays and business cases in a matter of seconds, it can also write code to investigate Open-Source intelligence! My prediction is that this will open the doors to a whole host of cool techniques, automations and efficiencies in the very near future.

Another promising area is the growing use of virtual and augmented reality technologies. These technologies could allow investigators to immerse themselves in simulated environments and gain a more detailed understanding of a particular location or event. For example, an investigator might use virtual reality to explore a 3D model of an accident scene, or to view video footage from multiple angles and perspectives.

Finally, there is the use of blockchain and other decentralized technologies. These technologies could provide a secure, transparent, and verifiable means of storing and sharing information, which could revolutionise the sharing of sensitive or confidential investigations. Maybe it’s a little early to say this will happen in 2023, but it isn’t far around the corner.

I wish you all a happy OSINT year ahead.

Written by Rick Preston and ChatGPT.