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US Government Launches Cyber Contest on AI to Find and Fix Security Flaws_ Technostation.

On Wednesday, the White House announced the initiation of a multi-million-dollar cybersecurity competition aimed at encouraging the utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and address security vulnerabilities within the infrastructure of the US government. This move comes as a response to the increasing malicious use of AI technology by hackers.

Anne Neuberger, the US government’s senior national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, stated that “cybersecurity is a race between offence and defence.”

Samy Khoury, Canada’s cybersecurity director, made similar comments to Neuberger’s regarding AI last month. He claimed that his organisation had observed AI being used for anything from disinformation campaigns to building dangerous computer code and phishing emails.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US government organisation in charge of developing technology for national security, will oversee the two-year competition, which contains around $20 million (almost Rs. 165 crore) in prizes, according to the White House.

The US technology companies leading the AI revolution—Alphabet’s Google, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI—will make their systems available for the challenge, the government announced.

The competition represents formal efforts to address a new threat that experts are still striving to fully understand. US companies have recently released a variety of generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, that allow users to create realistic movies, photos, texts, and computer code. To catch up, Chinese businesses have introduced comparable concepts.

According to experts, using such technologies might make it much simpler to propagate misinformation and propaganda online or run large-scale hacking campaigns.

Neuberger expressed that through the DARPA AI challenge, their objective is to stimulate a broader network of cybersecurity experts who leverage the featured AI models to enhance the speed of their responses, utilizing generative AI to strengthen our digital defense systems.

The US government has indicated that the victorious software code will be promptly implemented, overseen by the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), an American group of experts dedicated to advancing the security of open source software.

She further conveyed to Reuters, “We are aware that malicious entities are currently harnessing AI to expedite the identification of vulnerabilities and the creation of harmful software.”

Officials have issued warnings about potential dangers, particularly from foreign enemies, after numerous US organisations, including healthcare organisations, manufacturing companies, and government institutions, became targets of hacking attacks in recent years.

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