Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Artificial Intelligence

White House Offers Prize Money for Hacker-Thwarting AI

The White House launched an Artificial Intelligence Cyber Challenge competition for creating new AI systems that can defend critical software from hackers.

White House

The White House on Wednesday launched a competition offering millions of dollars in prize money for creating new artificial intelligence systems that can defend critical software from hackers.

Competitors vying for some of the $18.5 million in prize money will need to design novel AI systems that quickly find and fix software vulnerabilities in electric grids, subways or other key networks that could be exploited by hackers, President Joe Biden’s administration said.

“This competition will be a clarion call for all kinds of creative people in organizations to bolster the security of critical software that American families and businesses and all of our society relies on,” the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Arati Prabhakar, told a briefing.

To boost participation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) running the competition will put $7 million into funding small businesses that want to compete, according to the White House. DARPA is collaborating with AI tech titans Anthropic, Google, Microsoft, and ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, which will provide expertise and technology for the
competition, Prabhakar said.

The challenge is intended to “bring together diverse thinkers from all across the nation to think about how we can use AI to dramatically improve cybersecurity,” Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger said in the briefing.

The challenge was announced in Las Vegas at a cyber security conference ahead of a Def Con gathering where hackers will attempt to penetrate various AI systems.

“We’ll have thousands of people over two and a half days red teaming leading AI models to see how they stack up,” Prabhakar said.

Red teaming is a tech industry reference to testing systems by fiercely attacking them the way hackers would.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“In cybersecurity, there’s always a race between offense and defense,” Neuberger said. “We see the promise of AI in enabling defense to be one step ahead.”

Biden evoked AI’s “enormous” risk and promise last month at a White House meeting with tech leaders who committed to guarding against everything from cyber-attacks to fraud as the sector revolutionizes society.

Standing alongside top representatives from Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI, Biden said the cutting-edge companies had made commitments to “guide responsible innovation” as AI rips ever deeper into personal and business life.

Related: Bias in Artificial Intelligence: Can AI be Trusted?

RelatedCyber Insights 2022: Adversarial AI

RelatedHunting the Snark with ML, AI, and Cognitive Computing

RelatedAre AI and ML Just a Temporary Advantage to Defenders?

RelatedThe Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment


Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Learn how to utilize tools, controls, and design models needed to properly secure cloud environments.


Event: ICS Cybersecurity Conference

The leading industrial cybersecurity conference for Operations, Control Systems and IT/OT Security professionals to connect on SCADA, DCS PLC and field controller cybersecurity.


People on the Move

Check Point Software has appointed Nadav Zafrir as Chief Executive Officer.

BlackFog has named Brenda Robb as President, John Sarantakes as CRO, and Mark Griffith as VP of Strategic Sales.

Former NSA cybersecurity chief Rob Joyce has joined Sandfly Security's Advisory Board.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights