On the front lines of the AI “arms race”

Birhanu Eshete leans against a railing next to a window. He is looking at the camera.
(UM-Dearborn News)

UM-Dearborn’s Birhanu Eshete, computer science professor, is developing new technology to keep up with malicious parties on the dark web. Eshete is in a continuous race against cyberattackers who wield weapons that are ever-evolving.

Eshete’s work involves infiltrating and monitoring machines on a network, known as “transparent computing.” He recently used this type of computing to complete a Department of Defense-funded project.

“In the world of artificial intelligence, you often hear people talk about the ‘summer’ and the ‘winter’ of A.I.,” he said. “Well, we’re now in summer; recent advances in A.I., especially in deep learning, are helping us do all these incredible things, like machine translation and medical imaging. But as we’re starting to see, an A.I. system can also be the target of attacks, or weaponized towards attack mechanization. That’s the winter.”