If hacking is considered a method of intelligence, like learning despite the rules when there is a need to know, then it might include that ability itself.
Early on it did not have such a bad rep. Skill was a target for recruitment. All systems can be tested for vulnerabilities from modularity, data, safeguards, interfaces, networks, past devices, physical, mental, and so forth. Line up what is not supposed to happen, the breaches, and make paths out of those for certain effects and that becomes an exploit. Bureaucracies had been after each other throughout history.
AI has been a metaphor. Tech horizon. Common sense. Take an outside perspective and the sun does not rise, nor are fallacies rational despite evolution. It is fast moving so they tend to be looking at the markets which have already formed and in this case, the commodity is the cleverness if anyone wants to bet against the system.
Can the objective of the field itself be denied? Cyber has its own precepts. It wants to protect other things as well as itself. However an attack on the grid can trigger full scale retaliation, so that is highly discouraged. If the black hats do get away with it, then how are the good guys going to know how unless they try. Each side tries to get into the act so there is an equilibrium.
Is hacking anything that is outside orthodoxy? Instead of ranks of angels, they become app architectures. What happens after automation? Is it the coder’s visage held for hauteur? It is not hacking, but training if done by the officials or elite. In which case the public is going to want to know what is being done in their name. What costs more, preventing or continuing despite? The same ethical question arises for other tech or threats like pandemics. Still they will try to inhibit things where they can.
So it looks affirmative for now, but would also be reciprocal like a golden rule.