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Artificial intelligence once again promises to hit another successful period this 2018. Various reports are suggesting that the market value of AI is going to reach $1.2 trillion. The figure is proof that the demand for artificial intelligence in different industries is continuously growing – and so are the threats affiliated with it like the presence of cyber-attacks.

According to different technology experts, AI will play a vital role in helping today’s society cope with the future. However, just like humans, artificial intelligence naturally possesses two natures – the good and the bad. How they play out depends on whoever is using them.

Cyber-attacks are inevitable

Authorities cannot do anything to stop lone-wolf hackers, criminals, or even rascal states from misusing AI technology to benefit them and cause chaos. That is why cybersecurity specialists are doing all they can in order to develop a system that could potentially protect a specific program or in this case, the intellectual machines.

Brian Wallace, a Cylance Lead Security Data Scientist, said, “Hackers have been using artificial intelligence as a weapon for quite some time. It makes total sense because hackers have a problem of scale, trying to attack as many people as they can, hitting as many targets as possible, and all the while trying to reduce risks to themselves. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, in particular, are perfect tools to be using on their end.”

AI Not Immune to Any Form Of Attacks

Science fiction movies were the only ones that portrayed fight scenes of two AI machines – but not anymore. Hackers  are better at what they do, it is not impossible to witness this type of battle in the near future.

The following are some of the possibilities that might happen if sophisticated attackers hacked a specific artificial intelligence.

  • Dodging facial recognition systems, anomaly detection engines, and spam filters
  • Allowing driverless vehicles to misread speed limits and traffic signs
  • Misclassifying machine learning based-healthcare reports
  • Falsifying voice commands of public officials for propaganda purposes

Not just that, hackers could also affect even the greatest technological advancements the world has ever seen – autonomous cars and the innovative commercial drones.

Lone-wolf attackers have the capability to make driverless cars crash and they could also use drones as a dangerous surveillance and offensive weapon.

In an experiment made by ZeroFOX, a developer of threat intelligence, social media security, and digital risk monitoring solutions for companies, they found out that malicious AI technology is faster at spreading unsafe links than human attackers. They also discovered that the works of the malicious artificial intelligence have a far better conversion rate than a living hacker.

Good thing is that all of these can be prohibited if cybersecurity experts bolster the cybersecurity system of AI-powered devices.

Preventing Hackers from their Dirty Deeds

Jacqueline Poh, the Managing Director of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said, “Hackers love the fact that none of their victims want to talk to each other. They love the fact that none of the banks want to reveal that they have been hacked because the banks believe it will cause a crisis of confidence, and so hackers can continue to exploit the same vulnerabilities.”

Cybersecurity specialists are very much aware of the possibility that hackers will eventually use AI-powered machines to their advantages, which is why they are preparing for a counter-attack.

As hackers work with each other to strengthen their attacks, so are the specialists around the globe.

One thing about AI system is that developers could improve and install new algorithm and data to fight back against potential cyber threats. Cybersecurity experts have been making AI identify its environment well enough in order to stop predefined purposes. They are also working with the government to come up with laws that would defuse the danger.

If experts are successful in strengthening AI cybersecurity, the intellectual machines will be good at distinguishing anomalies and patterns, making them excellent devices at detecting different cyber threats.

Now, authorities are asking more people to help. In doing so, circulating reports suggested that cybersecurity salaries would increase by 7% this year.

Ahsan Iqbal, the Associate Director at Robert Walters, stated that, “At this point, salaries for IT professionals are highly inflated, with employers having to compete to secure top talents. In this context, the increases for cybersecurity specialists are particularly noteworthy.”

Artificial Intelligence to Return the Favor

Anyone could be a hacker, but not everyone could be a cybersecurity expert. This is a fact that continuously hurts the information technology industry.

A report filed by Cybersecurity Ventures mentions that by 2021, cyber-attacks around the globe would reach $6 trillion-worth of damages from business, industrial, and financial firms.

The report prompted companies to come up with ways on how to enhance their own cybersecurity system and one way to do that is through the assistance of AI-powered machines.

Because artificial intelligence naturally has autonomous systems, experts believe that they are the frontrunner for countering cybercrimes. Businesses will also be at a better place if AI is integrated into their work systems, allowing them to save more money in damage from possible attacks.

According to James Maude, the Senior Security Engineer at Avecto, “Although AI is still in its infancy, it’s no secret that it is becoming increasingly influential in cybersecurity. In fact, AI is already transforming the industry, and we can expect to see a number of trends come to a head, reshaping how we think about security in years to come. We might expect to see AI applied to cybersecurity defenses, potentially avoiding the damage from breaches costing billions.”

Up until now, many people are still divided when it comes to their stand about artificial intelligence. Yes, there is a possibility that AI might cause a widespread unemployment for workers, but the attention should not just focus on one part.

AI is developed not to bring humanity to its knees, but rather to help them in the future. The innovative technology is currently facing challenges because of cyber-attacks and to return the favor, it is up to the society to help AI get back up.