PRESS RELEASE: AI Institute for Agent-based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Operation (ACTION)

The Research University: Jonathan Jackson
PRESS RELEASE: AI Institute for Agent-based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Operation (ACTION)

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[SANTA BARBARA, CA – June 1st, 2023] – University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) proudly announces the establishment of the AI Institute for Agent-based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Operation (ACTION), solidifying its position as a pioneering force in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity. With operations set to commence on June 1st, 2023, the ACTION Institute will spearhead innovative research and collaboration across 11 educational institutions, revolutionizing the way we approach cybersecurity in the digital age.

Driven by the shared vision of renowned experts, including Vigna, Kruegel, Hespanha, and Singh from UC Santa Barbara, along with over 20 collaborators from prestigious institutions such as UC Berkeley, Purdue University, and Georgia Tech, the ACTION Institute aims to develop intelligent agents capable of utilizing complex knowledge representation, logic reasoning, and learning to identify and respond to cyber breaches promptly and at scale. By integrating learning and reasoning, human-agent and agent-agent interaction, and strategic gaming and tactical planning, the institute seeks to foster fundamental innovations across various AI domains.

“We are thrilled to embark on this groundbreaking initiative at the intersection of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity,” exclaimed UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “UC Santa Barbara is excited to be working in a way that is responsive to the needs of and advances the well-being and security of our local, national, and global society.”

The ACTION Institute’s dedication extends beyond research alone; it aspires to be a nexus for educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry. This collaborative approach will foster the training of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, while also facilitating the transition of novel AI-powered technologies into real-world security operations, fortifying defenses against evolving threats.

Traditional approaches to cybersecurity are increasingly insufficient against sophisticated attacks, with the average cost of data breaches surpassing $4.24 million in 2022. By harnessing the potential of AI, the ACTION Institute seeks to transform the landscape of cybersecurity, enabling more effective and efficient identification and response to threats.

“The current state of cybersecurity calls for a paradigm shift,” said the institute’s spokesperson. “Through continuous learning, collaboration between human experts and AI agents, and scalable solutions, the ACTION Institute will redefine the field, enhancing protection for critical infrastructure, businesses, and individuals.”

In addition to its research and operational endeavors, the ACTION Institute is committed to community engagement and educational outreach. Programs will be implemented to involve K-12 students, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, with a particular emphasis on fostering diversity and inclusion.

The ACTION Institute embarks on a transformative journey to revolutionize cybersecurity, safeguard critical systems, and propel AI innovation forward. Collaboration with partners, investors, and stakeholders is actively sought to contribute to this paramount mission.

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