IBM’s AI Breakthrough For instance, IBM ran a test several months ago which asked Watson to identify the nature of “ransomware.” Anyone remotely familiar with cybersecurity could tell you that ransomware is a virus that holds your computer hostage until you pay the hacker a, well, ransom. (Source: “IBM Watson for Cybersecurity Inches from Research to Reality,” Fortune, December 6, 2016.)
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The name is self-explanatory. Nonetheless, Watson identified ransomware as a city. Yes, like New York or London. This blunder could have been embarrassing, except that Watson has now evolved faster than most analysts would have expected.
Since then, it has obviously performed far better on IBM’s tests, or else the company would not introduce it to its clients’ IT infrastructure. By letting Watson sift through real files used by IBM’s clients, the company hopes to sharpen its distinction between regular business and a threat.
The idea is to make Watson an invaluable tool for cybersecurity experts. Rather than replacing those people, IBM just wants to make them more effective by supplying a tool that can spot cyberattacks before—or as—they are happening. (Source: “IBM Watson Brings AI Wonders to Cybersecurity,” Fortune, May 10, 2016.)
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