AI & Cybersecurity - Part 4: AI Assistance for Simplification

Posted by Alexis Vander Wilt
Alexis Vander Wilt

Part 4: Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Task Simplification

Welcome back and thanks for tuning in! This is part 4 of this series on AI & Cybersecurity. The focus of this article is the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that are making life simpler.


If you're new to this thread I suggest you start here with the introductory blog,

AI & Cybersecurity.

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Hand Drawn Keep It Simple Concept  on Chalkboard

The applications of AI that are making life simpler and more efficient are innumerable and it would be impossible to cover them all in a reasonable blog. I've tried to highlight some relatable examples that have likely impacted all of you, knowingly or not, in your daily lives. 

These applications are focused around improvements and simplification in commuting, communications (email and human to machine interaction), business logistics and decision making, and finally marketing or search assistance for tailored content. 

Lets dig in!

 

Commuting

We all know traveling can be unpredictable. You start your morning commute with the best information possible but things like construction, car accidents, and weather are hard to plan for and can drastically increase the amount of time it takes to get to your destination. Technologies like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze uses AI sometimes in conjunction with other app users to analyze events like these and find you the fastest way around these potential delays. This is a very rudimentary example of AI that is used thousands of times a day by almost anyone that owns a vehicle in todays world.

 

Communication

There are two primary ways we will discuss for applying AI to simplify our communications. The first focused on reducing threats and the volume of messages we receive and the latter on the very aspects of how we interact with machines day to day... 

 

Email

On any given day, the number of emails that a user receives can be overwhelming to say the least. Sorting through marketing messages, newsletter subscriptions, personal emails, and those for work can quickly pile up. Interestingly enough, these are just the message that make it to your inbox. Have you checked your spam folder recently? Imagine trying to sort through all that garbage along with potentially important information.

Oh look a sale.... 😀

Today there are numerous technologies implementing AI to take a first pass on your inbox. They can help detects spam, potential malicious attachments, malicious links, fraudulent messages for money transfers, and all kinds of other nastiness the world throws at us which helps to keep us safe while simultaneously decreasing the number of emails you have to manually sort and read through.

NLP

This is a topic that is near and dear. NLP or Natural Language Processing is a subfield of AI, kind of like Machine Learning, that helps computers understand, interpret, and manipulate human languages like English vs cryptic and non intuitive computer code, well non-intuitive for non developers at least.

For an extremely simple example I've attached an image below of the beloved "Hello World!" program a staple for those learning to program in any language. 

Hello World program exampleAs you can see "Hello World!" does exist in this code snippet but what is with all the other stuff? (Keep in mind this is about the most simplistic program you could write.)

The key take away is that computers and people don't speak the same language and that is where NLP technologies show a tremendous amount of promise acting as a universal translator to make our everyday interactions easier. 

Some ways in which we use this NLP daily are in technologies such as Alexa, Siri, and Googles Assistant. These technologies allow us to do things like "call dad" or "search the web for ......?", "remind me to ......?", "add milk to the grocery list", "set timer for 15 minutes", "play artist .....?", "get directions to .....", to name more than a few. There are so many more examples and these things can save us so much time while also making us safer keeping our attention on more important tasks like driving or walking (preferably not into things). 

Time for a quick plug.

This technology is one component of Query.ai's product capabilities. Query.AI is an Assistive AI Technology that unlocks the power of your organization’s data, simplifying data access and analysis to accelerate (Security/IT) operations".

Like the technologies above IRIS allows users to ask questions and interact with systems in a very simplistic and natural way. The primary user of this technology is businesses who struggle with accessing their data and performing the required analysis for Cyber Security, IT operations, or even other business applications and use cases. Data today doesn't live in one place and each place (data store) has a proprietary data format and query language. Query.ai and IRIS acts as the universal translator so you can ask a simple questions and access to all data for analysis and discovery. 

End Plug

Assisted Decision Making

In the agriculture industry, one example of AI for simplification and efficiency is applying it to track and predict the growth of crops so that they can be harvested at exactly the right time to yield the most product output. Agriculture is just one example applications like these can be seen in numerous industries and the decisions can range anywhere from diagnosing diseases, to helping people find new tv shows they might enjoy based on other shows they have already watched, think Netflix.

 

Discussing plants and flowers and using tablet

Marketing

One of the more obvious examples is the use of AI for advertisement. AI software can be trained to find ads that you are more likely to pay attention to, read, or purchase. This can be seen on numerous social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. They also appear on the side bar of some search engines like Google.

You're probably saw this post initially on LinkedIn who would have added it to your feed based on your connections, groups, and the profession you work in. 

AI can also be used to filter search results to find pages you were most likely looking for based on other searches you’ve made. So, if you search for laptops and then search for chargers, search engines can use AI to filter the results for laptop chargers, which is most likely what you were looking for.

 

Summary

This is just a very brief intro into the ways that AI is affecting your life every day. So, the next time you see “Recommended for you”, you can appreciate the AI that has helped filter out things you might not be interested in.

Please stay tuned for the follow up articles as we dive further into AI and its impact on cyber security.

Thanks for reading!

Hungry for more?

I suggest checking out the first three posts in the series

AI & CyberSecurity - Part 1: Introduction

AI & Cyber Security - Part 2: Threat Detection, Prevention, and Remediation

AI & Cybersecurity - Part-3: Adversarial-AI

 

Resources:

https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/everyday-examples-of-ai/

 

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Alexis Vander Wilt

Written by Alexis Vander Wilt

I am a senior Computer Science and Mathematics student, with a passion for understanding Data Analysis and its impacts. I work as part of the team at Query.AI where we are using Natural Language Processing to allow users to “talk to your data” reducing the security learning curve and working to make security more accessible to all.