AI and Cybersecurity

The AI Now Institute recently released their annual review looking at AI and security. Their annual report for 2018 can be seen here. The main theme this year is that governments need to start regulating AI yesterday, especially the use of facial recognition technologies. The institute believes that the biggest near term risk is the use of AI in surveillance technologies and automated decision making, especially by the state on their people.

The report is a fascinating read on an area of AI most people haven’t thought about so take a look.




SkySafe is a software startup that offers a solution for preventing drones from accessing restricted areas.  It uses radio wave technology to monitor airspace and tag drones as permitted to fly in that area or not.  They are then able to hijack the drone from its pilot and force the drone to land.  Their counter drone technology is of strong interest to the defense and public safety industries. 

Details on the actual technology itself are currently under wraps.  However, industry experts' best guess is that SkySafe hijacks the drone's radio communication channels and trick the drone into thinking SkySafe's control software is actually the pilot.  This is basically a physical version of the man in the middle style attack with SkySafe's antenna's being physically closer to the drone then the drone's pilot's transmitter and so able to overwhelm their signal.

The team is based in San Diego, California.

Why I like Them

I have often wondered as drones become more prevalent (~4M drones are expected to be sold this year), how agencies and law enforcement will control them - SkySafe has an answer.  As drones are used more frequently in every day life and become more common for tasks like package delivery, law enforcement needs an easy and safe way to control and restrict them.  This type of technology is especially needed as recently the first drone collision with a commercial airplane occurred in Canada.  Although extremely early stage, SkySafe is innovating to fulfill an unmet need in the market - and a need that will grow extremely rapidly in the coming years.  Once they prove out and test the technology commercially it is easy to see them being acquired by a large defense or cybersecurity company.

Disclosure:  All information is from publicly available sources, I have not had any contact with a member of the company or its investors.