Microsoft wants AI to predict when a PC is going to be infected

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Microsoft wants to harness AI’s incredible prediction abilities to detect PC malware attacks before they even happen.

The company has sponsored a competition on Kaggle which challenges data scientists to create models which predict if a device is likely to become infected with malware given a current machine state.

In a blog post, Microsoft wrote:

“The competition provides academics and researchers with varied backgrounds a fresh opportunity to work on a real-world problem using a fresh set of data from Microsoft.

Results from the contest will help us identify opportunities to further improve Microsoft’s layered defenses, focusing on preventative protection.

Not all machines are equally likely to get malware; competitors will help build models for identifying devices that have a higher risk of getting malware so that preemptive action can be taken.”

Participants are supplied with 9.4GB of anonymised data gathered from 16.8M devices to build their models.

A pot of $25,000 prize money will be used to incentivise participation spread out as:

  • 1st Place – $12,000
  • 2nd Place – $7,000
  • 3rd Place – $3,000
  • 4th Place – $2,000
  • 5th Place – $1,000

The best performing entry, thus far, has achieved 68.9 percent accuracy – though it’s likely this will be improved before the end.

Entries must be submitted before the competition closes on March 13, 2019.

You can find out more and enter on Kaggle here.

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