This article originally appeared in Buzz Business for TIME.
Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are already transforming modern life, from voice-activated personal assistants, to self-parking cars, to self-configuring conference rooms, to systems that help doctors diagnose disease. As more things become interconnected and AI-enabled, our world becomes smarter, more convenient and more productive.
But it also becomes more vulnerable. As the number of connected devices grows—not just smart ones, but also single-purpose sensors capturing the data that fuels AI, like sound, temperature and movement—we vastly increase our exposure to attack.
Last October, the Mirai botnet took advantage of hacked IoT devices to take high profile websites, such as Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Airbnb—and, it was rumored (incorrectly), the entire nation of Liberia.
How do you secure a world of dizzying interconnectivity? If innovation is generating this unprecedented security challenge, it’s only fair for innovation to help solve it—AI to the rescue. Look to the evolution of our telephone system.
At some point, human operators could no longer keep up with growing scale and complexity, and automation became essential.
Now, AI will power new a new generation of technologies for anomaly detection, machine learning, behavioral analytics and other tools to help keep our devices clean and secure.
Mind you, AI isn’t about to replace the human element—rather, it will augment our own expertise, helping security professionals make the right decisions just as it now helps diners choose the right restaurant for dinner. Even in a world reshaped by artificial intelligence, humans remain in charge.