AI in Cybersecurity? That’s What the White House Has Challenged Hackers With in New Competition

Q.ai — a Forbes Company
3 min readAug 11, 2023

Key takeaways

  • The White House has issued a competition to all cybersecurity experts to create an AI cybersecurity solution that can protect U.S. infrastructure
  • The contest has over $20 million of prizes and involves Anthropic, Google and Microsoft
  • The potential for AI to revolutionize work and play has sparked a stock market bull run in 2023

The White House has issued a new bounty: create us a market-leading AI cybersecurity solution, and you can win millions of dollars. The AI Cyber Challenge involves AI leaders and has launched with a view to protecting critical U.S. infrastructure from cyber attacks. Here’s what we know so far.

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What competition has the White House issued?

The AI Cyber Challenge is the White House’s latest venture to create the best cybersecurity solutions to protect critical U.S. infrastructure — and the Biden administration wants to see AI at the front and center of each entry.

The challenge offers nearly $20 million in prizes and has leading AI companies like Anthropic, Google and Microsoft involved. Competitors are asked to keep their creations open source so they can be used widely if selected.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is in charge of the challenge, also said it was offering up to $1 million to seven small businesses that wish to participate.

Perri Adams, program manager at the DARPA Information Innovation Office, said “This is a chance to explore what’s possible when experts in cybersecurity and AI have access to a suite of cross-company resources of combined unprecedented caliber”.

AI’s impact on the stock market

Since generative AI exploded onto the scene last year with OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, the markets have been aflame with the possibility of artificial intelligence’s use in business. Big Tech was quick to jump on the hype, with Microsoft and Google one-upping each other with consumer AI announcements.

Microsoft has taken the war a step further by announcing a pricing plan for its AI-powered Copilot suite, which will sit within Microsoft 365 products. The new tech will cost enterprise users $30 a month per user to access, with the news driving up Microsoft’s stock nearly 6%.

Companies focusing on the back-end have benefited, too. Nvidia, which has spent the last decade positioning itself perfectly as a market leader in AI computer chips, became the first chip company to pass the trillion-dollar valuation mark. The stock has gained 192% since the start of 2023 alone.

The bottom line

For any clever hackers, this is a great competition to win cash. But it’s another opportunity for AI to become further ingrained into the national psyche as a part of everyday life — and investors will be watching closely to see how the cybersecurity sector develops.

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Q.ai — a Forbes Company

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