AI for good or evil? AI dangers, advantages and decisions

AI isn’t inherently moral — it can be used for evil just as well as for good. And while it may appear that AI provides an advantage for the good guys in security now, the pendulum may swing when the bad guys really embrace it to do things like unleashing malware infections that can learn from their hosts. It’s imperative that CISOs and all security team leaders stay aware of the lurking AI dangers.

AI defined

When people talk about AI in cybersecurity, the terms machine learning and deep learning tend to be used interchangeably with artificial intelligence.

Michelle Cantos, strategic intelligence analyst for FireEye
Michelle Cantos

What’s the difference? “AI is a big subfield of computer science, and it examines the ability of a program or machine to accomplish tasks that normally require human intelligence like perception, reasoning, abstraction and learning,” explained Michelle Cantos, strategic intelligence analyst for security vendor FireEye.

According to Sridhar Muppidi, vice president and CTO for IBM Security, machine learning is a big part of AI, which is primarily used to extract anomalies and outliers from giant data haystacks and to evaluate risk. “It involves training a model on a specific element of data using algorithms,” he said. “Deep learning is a type of self-learning or on-the-fly learning.”