Artificial intelligence (AI) has become such a buzzword that it’s at risk of becoming no more than tech marketing pixie dust. Just sprinkle a little here and suddenly, your solution inherits the foresight of a self-driving Tesla and the simplicity of an Amazon Echo.
As more solutions crowd the cyber security market touting the benefits of AI, it’s important to read through the hype. Machine learning (ML) can deliver transformative insights in some domains, but it has limitations. My goal is to help you pick apart vendor claims. If you plan to evaluate a solution that uses ML for cyber security, then hopefully this will inform your decision-making — or at least give you a framework for learning more.
Do You Want Artificial Intelligence Or Machine Learning?
The answer is machine learning. As a cyber-security practitioner, I tend to be a little prickly on this.
AI implies cognitive introspection on the part of the tech – an ability to improve itself based on understanding its own performance. We’re nowhere near this yet.
ML is a subfield of computer science that helps computers learn based on their inputs and decide how to behave without being explicitly programmed to do so. The ML practitioner will approach the task with a large and developing toolset. Different algorithms have different uses, and techniques overlap with computational statistics, mathematical optimization and data mining.