AI & Quantum Computing | 404 | Ep. 3

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Episode Summary

Current Applications of AI in Cybersecurity:

  • AI excels in processing and making sense of vast amounts of data quickly, a task that is cumbersome for humans.
  • AI is effectively used in Network Intrusion Detection Systems and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems. Dr. Day highlights an example of using Splunk to analyse diverse log formats for forensic investigations.
  • AI aids in unstructured searches by identifying unusual network behaviours and patterns, making it adaptable to novel or evolving cyber threats.

Challenges with Unstructured Data:

  • Security professionals often deal with logs in various formats (e.g., PDFs, Word documents, spreadsheets), complicating data analysis.
  • AI’s ability to perform unstructured searches helps in correlating and analysing these diverse data formats quickly.

Potential of Quantum Computing:

  • Quantum Computing, though still theoretical, promises a significant speed-up in search processes due to its ability to perform parallel searches via superposition and entanglement.
  • Quantum Computing can potentially make AI’s data correlation almost instantaneous, greatly enhancing the speed and efficiency of identifying cyber threats.

Quantum Speed-Up:

  • The concept of quantum speed-up refers to exponentially faster data processing capabilities, which will be crucial for handling large unstructured data sets in cybersecurity.

Threats and Defence:

  • The combination of AI and Quantum Computing could amplify both defensive and offensive cybersecurity measures.
  • AI-powered by quantum technology could dramatically enhance techniques like smart fuzzing, making it possible to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems much faster.

AI and Quantum Computing in Offensive Cybersecurity:

  • These technologies could be used to mount sophisticated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or disrupt Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
  • The potential for quantum-powered AI to quickly identify and exploit vulnerabilities poses significant security risks.

Future Implications and Ethical Considerations:

  • The podcast discusses the future of AI surpassing human intelligence and potentially developing consciousness.
  • The hosts express both excitement and concern over these developments, highlighting the dual-edged nature of such advancements in technology.

AI Training and Human Supervision:

  • Current AI systems still require human supervision for effective training and operation.
  • The integration of quantum computing might reduce the need for human intervention, leading to AI systems that can self-improve and operate autonomously.


The episode concludes with reflections on the rapid advancements in AI and Quantum Computing, their potential to revolutionise cybersecurity, and the ethical and existential questions they raise. Brad Thomas and Dr. David Day emphasise the importance of staying ahead in the cybersecurity arms race, leveraging these technologies for both defensive and offensive purposes while being mindful of their profound implications.