France taps leading AI-driven risk intelligence firm in push to combat cybersecurity threats at Olympics

In just over two months, athletes from hundreds of countries will descend on Paris for the highly anticipated 2024 Summer Olympics. 

Athletes had a shortened window of time to prepare to compete at this year’s Olympic Games due to the COVID-delayed 2020 Summer Olympics. Competition in Tokyo began in July 2021 instead of 2020. As the competitors gear up for their chance to earn a highly coveted medal this year, those who have been tasked with overseeing the more than two-week event continue to prepare a defense against cybersecurity threats.

The focus on cybersecurity has seemingly increased in recent years as “bad actors” have employed more sophisticated methods. But the responsible use of artificial intelligence presents an opportunity to counter some of those threats.


Blackbird.AI created an AI-based narrative intelligence platform called Constellation, which efficiently identifies narratives that were derived from some type of disinformation. The platform then initiates a process in which the technology analyzes the narrative, measures the level of risk and adds context. All of these steps are done to provide clarity, which in turn allows organizations or anyone leveraging the platform to have the best information at their disposal when it comes to critical decision-making.

“We have a platform called Constellation, our intelligence platform, where we can discover, analyze, investigate online conversations on any platform and [help determine] the risk that it poses. We look at the visibility of the narrative,” Sarah Bout, an intelligence analyst at Blackbird.AI, told Fox News Digital.


A narrative attack is defined as any assertion that has the potential to impose serious harm by “shaping perceptions about a person, place, or thing in the information ecosystem,” according to Blackbird.AI. These attacks can lead to significant financial loss and can also harm reputations, especially if a specific narrative was driven by misinformation.

The Constellation Dashboard has the unique ability to provide a “real-time view of narrative attacks as they scale and become harmful,” according to Blackbird.AI.

The company’s website describes Constellation as a “multimodal, assessing text, images, and memes; multi-platform, spanning dark web, social media, news, and more; and multilingual, supporting over 25 languages.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach recently voiced the need to responsibly embrace AI within sports. Last month, the IOC shared its AI plan, including identifying talent, personalizing training and improving judging fairness.

“Today, we are making another step to ensure the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and the relevance of sport. To do this, we have to be leaders of change,” Bach said during a press event at the former London Olympic Park at the time. “We are determined to exploit the vast potential of AI in a responsible way.”

The IOC’s AI plans include using the technology to protect athletes from online harassment and to help broadcasters improve the viewing experience for people watching from home. The IOC earns billions of dollars through the sale of broadcast rights for the games.


“The report focuses on the June and July 2023 time frames, and it’s analyzing all kinds of online harmful conversation. The ones that would pose a high risk to the French government, to France in general, but also to the International Olympic Committee,” Bout added. “We did focus on this specific time frame for a reason. Viginum is the operational arm of the French government that is focused on digital foreign interference. [Viginum] found a foreign network of online actors propagating with full disinformation campaigns, which (took aim) at France’s ability to [host] the Olympics.” 

President Emmanuel Macron spearheaded Viginum in 2021 to counteract a series of destabilizing operations and to have a defense in place for any potential future occurrences. The office formerly initiated operations in October 2021.

The Summer Olympics begins on July 26 and concludes on Aug. 11.

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