This article is part of a VB special issue. Read the full series here: AI and Security.

VentureBeat’s second special issue is nigh. Following Power in AI, this one is focused on AI and security. Each special issue explores a central topic from a variety of angles and includes voices from the tech industry, academia, and our newsroom.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, AI and cybersecurity technology are nearly omnipresent in our daily lives, and they’re only gaining importance as our world becomes more connected, “intelligent,” and reliant on online or automated systems. Yet both can seem intractably technical, even to tech-savvy people, with an ominous gravity that multiplies at the intersection of their Venn diagrams. The easy metaphor is that cybersecurity is an escalating arms race between good actors and bad actors, while the advent of AI is proverbial nuclear warfare.

Some of that’s true, but the reality is far more illuminating, nuanced, and accessible. Huge cybersecurity threats can be amplified by AI technologies, so cybersecurity experts need to employ AI to protect us — and they are. In this issue, we’ll discuss how some threats are more sophisticated than ever, but most are not. We’ll learn that even as attack and defense systems are supercharged by technology, the need for human expertise has become more critical, not less. And we’ll look at practical solutions to some of the most onerous threats, like deepfakes and the increasing presence of AI-powered cameras.

Cybersecurity is a battlefield, and AI is creating new fronts in that war, with freshly minted weapons and means of defense. But in this special issue, we took a less charged approach, pulling from dozens of interviews with vendors and researchers to understand what’s really going on with AI and security and how we should think about it.

Even with the added layer of AI technologies, when it comes to security, there’s nothing new under the sun, or at least very little. It remains an endless cycle of emerging technology that begets both threats and defenses. That’s simultaneously frightening and reassuring.

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