In a bid to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity, the Biden-Harris administration has announced a two-year contest aimed at leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to safeguard crucial software integral to the United States.
Dubbed the AI Cyber Challenge, the competition offers a substantial prize pool nearing $20 million and will engage participants nationwide in the task of pinpointing and remedying software vulnerabilities through the application of AI technology.
Details about the AI Cyber Challenge
At the Black Hat USA Conference in Las Vegas, the Biden-Harris administration revealed that the AI Cyber Challenge is centred on fortifying the vital infrastructure of the United States.
Having established the power of AI and accepting participants with the required skills, the AI Cyber Challenge is open to even minors.
The two-year Artificial Intelligence Cyber Challenge will reward up to five teams in the semifinal rounds, with each team receiving $2 million in prize money.
The teams advancing to the final round will receive the following awards: –
- First place – $4 million
- Second place – $3 million
- Third place – $1.5 million
Expectations from top talent in AI Cyber Challenge
The United States of America looks for skilled individuals, teams, organizations, and institutions across the globe to participate in the AI Cyber Challenge to make innovative AI systems.
The teams will have to look for solutions for actual problems faced in maintaining software security and otherwise.
“Teams will be given a large suite of challenges based on real-world critical open-source and critical infrastructure software,” stated AIxCC, the website housing the AI Cyber Challenge details.
Moreover, the teams will design AI-driven systems to find and fix vulnerabilities within these challenges, AIxCC added.
The AI Cyber Challenge is being sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which will also provide funding of up to $1 million each to support participation from up to seven small businesses.
The AI Cyber Challenge and Open-Source community
The AIxCC will work closely with the open-source community to guide them in creating the best AI systems to thwart supply chain attacks and other threats to software.
The AI Cyber Challenge will be held at the DEF CON with the semifinal competition taking place at DEF CON 2024.
The final competition will be at DEF CON 2025. The Linux Foundation will be the challenge advisor that will ensure the winning code is effectively used in the right way to protect America’s vital software.
AI to be utilized for the greater good
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to encouraging AI for securing America’s critical infrastructure and has forwarded the AI competition.
Seven leading AI-using companies including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, Anthropic, Inflection, and Meta have made voluntary commitments to make AI technology development transparent, safe, and useful for the larger good.
The companies will take part in a public evaluation of large language models (LLMs), which will see responsible disclosures at the DEF CON 2023.
The White House briefing outlined the specific areas of focus for the seven companies as follows:
- Ensuring product safety before launching them to the public.
- Sharing information across the industry including government and civil society among others.
- Building AI systems that are built on a security-first mindset.
- Earning public trust by maintaining transparency in having people know of the use of AI by means including watermarking.
- Sharing information about the limitations, right use, risks, etc., of AI in their products
A collective pledge for ensuring transparency among nations has been voluntarily undertaken by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK.
The ally nations and partners will participate in creating an international framework to govern the use of AI. This framework will further help maintain overall system security, globally.
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