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Cisco CEO: AI enables every tech we build Posted on Jun 12 - 2018

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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins explained to ZDNet the importance of AI in enabling 'every single piece of technology that we build', particularly across security offerings that were able to detect VPNFilter as a result.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an enabler of technology rather than being a business itself, according to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, who told ZDNet that AI is critical in sitting behind much of the networking giant's portfolio.

Speaking with ZDNet during Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Robbins pointed towards Cisco's Talos discovering the VPNFilter attack last month.

"Across our portfolio ... if you look at how we deal with security and the number of threats, there's an element of AI and machine learning, and we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing [without it]," Robbins told ZDNet.

"When our threat researchers found the VPNFilter attack, there was a lot of information and a lot of compute power going into discovering these things on a global basis, so it's important there, it's important in intent-based networking, it's important in our collaboration portfolio, it's important everywhere.

"Some companies will decide that AI is a business for them. For us, it is an enabler of every piece of technology that we build."

Robbins added that while many companies are mislabelling things as AI, Cisco is more "realistic" about its actual definition.

"We're realists about what technology is really doing, and I personally think a lot of what is being called AI today is simply massive datasets with incredibly intelligent algorithms being processed very quickly," he argued.

Calling AI and machine learning "pervasive" across the business, Cisco's EVP of Networking and Security David Goeckeler also pointed to Talos' discovery of VPNFilter, attributing this to AI.

"That's a very good example where with our threat intel research, we actually then reach out to governments and we coordinate activities of how to protect people from cyber threats," he told media at Cisco Live.

"So there's an enormous amount [of AI] that goes on across the board on cybersecurity."

Goeckeler boiled down Cisco's approach to AI as being an "enormous dataset that we apply machine and human intelligence to find out where threat actors are in the world, and we push policy back into the infrastructure". View More

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