• The Navy is pursuing machine learning-based cyber security through a new $100,000 prize challenge. Credit: U.S. Navy illustration by Frances Zukowski
     The Navy is pursuing machine learning-based cyber security through a new $100,000 prize challenge. Credit: U.S. Navy illustration by Frances Zukowski

The Navy Kicks off Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity Prize Challenge

July 11, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
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The $100,000 contest is looking for nontraditional partners to submit solutions.


The Navy is seeking advanced cybersecurity solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command announced in a recent statement.

The Command, known now as NAVWAR, and the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) are co-sponsoring the so-called Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge (AI ATAC).

The challenge will allow the Navy to explore advanced endpoint security products that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models to detect and defeat malware.

In addition, the Navy is looking to pull in the participation of nontraditional defense partners, teams or individuals who may offer unique insights.

"We are approaching innovation with disciplined urgency," said NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. "This prize challenge presents a unique opportunity to cast a wider net to get the best technology to the fleet faster."

​Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee will help provide facilities and expertise for evaluating the technical solutions, NAVWAR stated.

The prize competition is open for submissions through September 30. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may enter the contest. The winner of the competition will be awarded $100,000, with $50,000 for second place, according to the NAVWAR announcement.

"We need to get after faster solutions from sectors of industry outside our traditional partners and we want to lower any barrier to entry,” said John Armantrout, PMW 130's deputy program manager. “We believe by sponsoring AI ATAC we can quickly get new ideas about how we can incorporate AI and ML into our cybersecurity tool bag. This challenge is designed for anyone with AI and ML knowledge–whether they're from a company, a university, a research institution or even an individual or group of friends who have a good idea."

For more information on the AI ATAC, visit www.challenge.gov/challenge/artificial-intelligence-applications-to-​autonomous-cybersecurity-challenge

Questions may also be submitted to: AIATAC.PRIZE.CHALLENGE@NAVY.MIL

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