Webinar Series

Adversarial AI as an Example for Useful Technology Transfer 


Adversarial AI as an Example for Useful Technology Transfer


Novel security work has always been done in the gray area between academia, industry, InfoSec hobbyists, and “other." Maker spaces, hacker spaces, and citizen science are helping democratize the development of security tools and serving as conduits for richer conversations.

Part of those conversations includes choosing and evaluating technologies and then bringing those tools to the broader market's awareness and usefulness. During this talk, we will look at ways for the industry to work with all areas of innovation, including academia and the hobbyist.

As an example, we will explore the emerging areas of AI Security and Adversarial AI, where the path to successful collaboration and tools is less clear. Some people understand the idiosyncrasies of Machine Learning that lead to vulnerabilities, and some understand the threats facing the underlying infrastructure and software.Very few understand both, which is why threat modeling AI systems is so hard.

The DEFCON AI Village (AIV) sits at the intersection of AI, Machine Learning, and Information Security and is focused on building a Secure AI Framework (SAIF), in the spirit of the Mitre AT&CK mode, to address this gap. We will talk about the challenges in transitioning from ‘hacker’ research to real-world, sustainable toolsets.

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Our Speakers

Anita Nikolich

Dr. Alec Yasinsac

Research Scientist and Director of Research Innovation, iSchool at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Anita Nikolich is a Research Scientist and Director of Research Innovation at the iSchool at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She served as Cybersecurity Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), and has spent time in academia, industry and government. She is a co-organizer of the DEFCON AI Village, a hacker co-op that seeks to make the world (and its algorithms) a safer place; a AAAS Leshner Fellow in AI Public Engagement and serves on the ARIN Advisory Council.

Professor and Dean, School of Computing, University of South Alabama

Dr. Alec Yasinsac is Professor and Dean, School of Computing, University of South Alabama. He has thirty five years’ experience in computing and has published eighty refereed workshop, conference, and journal papers on information security. Alec served in the Marines for twenty years and is a Senior Member of IEEE and ACM. He sits on the ACM US Public Policy Committee and is presently an Associate Editor for the Elsevier journal “Computers and Security."


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