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Dstl explores machine learning for cyber security


Works with Alan Turing Institute on project to provide solutions for ‘real world situations’

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has revealed it has been working with the Alan Turing Institute on a project on the use of machine learning technology to support cyber security.

It said the effort has been directed at establishing whether machine learning could be used to identify code vulnerabilities and to develop practical solutions to defend against hackers.

The project has been part of the two organisations’ work in a Data Study Group as part of a regular series of events run by the institute. Dstl staff provided technical support for the group, which involved around 70 data science researchers from around the UK.

Dstl said it expects the results to applied in “real world situations” and to indicate where more work is needed.

Glen Hart, technical lead for Dstl, said: “This was, in effect, a data-centric hackathon where the brightest minds tackled some of the biggest data issues for defence today. It’s fantastic to be partnering with the institute and fascinating to see how different approaches can help defence, security and beyond.”

The Alan Turing Institute has taken a lead role in the UK’s work on technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning since the Government’s publication of the AI Review last year.

It had already announced an agreement to collaborate with research bodies including Dstl – which is an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Defence – to develop the use of data science in the field. Initial areas of interest for the partnership include the creation of intelligent data systems, securing cyber space, and enhancing data privacy and trust.

Image from the Royal Society

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