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IBM built a voice assistant for cybersecurity

The tech giant has taken its Watson artificial intelligence software and created a voice assistant for it. The first use: cybersecurity.

Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr

In this week's This Feels A Little Like Skynet: IBM built a new voice assistant using artificial intelligence called Hayvn, focused on cybersecurity. Think of it as Amazon Alexa, but instead of ordering soap, it's helping you manage threats.

Sure, this might sound like it's ripped straight out of the plot for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, in which the military unleashes a new AI called Skynet to fight a virus that's been disrupting worldwide networks. And yes, that AI then becomes sentient, launches nukes and begins "Judgement Day." But that's just fantasy, right?

Here in the real world, IBM said Hayvn is being used to help cybersecurity pros comb through the hundreds of alerts they receive each day. There's just too much that needs to be monitored, and not enough time or people to do it in. So, AI can help.

IBM isn't the only company building AI, of course. Google has tech like its assistant and DeepMind, Facebook has M and its other projects, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana and Amazon has Alexa. Or, if you're feeling anxious, an army of AI tech is finding its way into nearly all the tech in our lives. Even cars have voice assistants now.

Hayvn is still in its early stages, but here's a cute video that will maybe distract you from thinking about whether a robot that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger is coming after you.