On Friday, in an unexpected turn of events, various artificial intelligence systems at hotels across Las Vegas were placed under concentrated attacks from a collective of professional hackers. Not only were these cyberattacks public knowledge, but they were also explicitly endorsed by the Biden administration.
The Biden administration has launched a public challenge, the AI Cyber Challenge. It invites hackers for a two-year competition to build AI systems with the potential to fortify the nation’s crucial software.
As part of this exercise, several esteemed AI companies such as Google, Meta, and OpenAI will willingly expose their AI systems to orchestrated attacks. All these companies had reportedly agreed to the potentially destructive but constructive event to examine the robustness of their latest and most advanced AI tech.
Participants are beckoned to identify and rectify software vulnerabilities in codes that keep the internet and several other critical infrastructures up and running. DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) spearheads the entire competition.
Registrations for this challenge are open to everyone and will commence in the upcoming fall, with a qualifying event scheduled for spring 2024.
Twenty teams will progress to the semi-finals at the DEF CON hackathon in August 2024. Five teams that manage to design the best-suited AI systems to address cybersecurity concerns at a national level will get to split the prize pot of $20 million. Even more lucrative rewards await the top three winners after the final round in August 2025.
Participants can look forward to collaborating with premier AI companies, including Anthropic, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI, who have all pledged their technological resources and expertise.
DARPA also plans to provide a collective sum of $1 million to small businesses that wish to participate in the competition.
The initiative marks a significant stride in tackling the pressing safety issues around the rapid development of artificial intelligence, bringing together industry, academia, and the government in an unprecedented joint effort to secure the future.