That rosy view of what AI can deliver isn’t entirely wrong. But what next-generation techniques actually do is more muddled and incremental than marketers would want to admit.

Fortunately, researchers developing new defenses at companies and in academia largely agree on both the potential benefits and challenges. And it starts with getting some terminology straight.

“I actually don’t think a lot of these companies are using artificial intelligence. It’s really training machine learning,” says Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of the cybersecurity defense firm Malwarebytes, which promoted its own machine learning threat detection software at RSA.

“It’s misleading in some ways to call it AI, and it confuses the hell out of customers.” The machine learning algorithms security companies deploy generally train on large data sets to “learn” what to watch out for on networks and how to react to different situations.

Unlike an artificially intelligent system, most of the security applications out there can’t extrapolate new conclusions without new training data. Machine learning is powerful in its own right, though, and approach is a natural fit for antivirus defense and malware scanning. Read more from wired.com…

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