Why the next generation of professionals will solve IT problems with AI

The focus of students at top tech universities is shifting from computer science to machine learning, which will change approaches to security in the future.

At the 2018 RSA Conference, IBM Security's Co-CTO, Koos Lodewijkx, spoke with TechRepublic about how the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will change the way we approach security challenges.

Lodewijkx: AI as the new IT is really an interesting concept. When I went to college probably 30 years ago, the most popular course was Introduction to Programming. Right now, if you surveyed the technical colleges and universities, MIT, Stanford, you will find the most popular course is Introduction to Machine Learning.

The students coming out of college right now have been taught a whole new way of attacking problems with IT.

Not only on the defender's sides, which IBM Security works on, are we changing the way that we're attacking problems and being able to process massive amounts of information in new ways, it also means that attackers are much more skilled in using artificial intelligence and can launch much more powerful, much more versatile attacks.

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There's this notion of AI versus AI, it's as defenders we're using AI, but attackers were also using AI. The three types are, number one, attackers using AI to mount fairly classic attacks against their targets. So they're using AIs to make the attacks faster, more powerful and more specific to their targets.

The second type of attack is where attackers are attacking your AI implementations. Lots of enterprises right now are running projects for machine learning and process their data in novel ways. Those models are under attack.

And then the third way that attackers are attacking AI is they're trying to extract the intellectual property that's captured in the AI models for their own purpose.

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Image: iStock/chombosan

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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