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ID R&D 2020 Predictions: The Advance of AI in Authentication

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Konstantin Simonchik, Chief Science Officer, ID R&D

The Advance of AI in Authentication

2020 will be even more intense in terms of the battle between AI for good and AI for evil.  On the positive side, we'll see rapid growth in AI applications being deployed for applications that improve security and enhance the user experience. On the negative side, we'll see increased sophistication in hacking attempts and fraudulent activity by bad actors using AI. 

A few things to watch: 

Synthetic speech and the rise of AI

We've seen a lot about deepfakes in regard to photos and videos, and we're really just at the edge of seeing similar technology being deployed in the realm of speech. 2019 saw the first major case of an enterprise being tricked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by fraudsters using synthetic voice. And while it may be the first, it certainly won't be the last as the sophistication of AI is enabling bad actors to create synthetic speech with under a second of a target's voice. Fortunately, we'll also see great leaps in machine learning and AI as research teams iterate to keep pace with deepfakes in photos and voice - especially important as sophisticated synthetic voice and face have become undetectable to the human eye and ear. It requires collaboration across the industry, and initiatives like Microsoft and Facebook's Deepfake Detection Challenge and Google creating their own deepfake library are examples of the shared interest and efforts we're seeing.

AI improvements in authentication

2020 will see also see us moving closer to a passwordless future as businesses look to differentiate based on UX. As consumers become increasingly accustomed to using their face, fingerprint, and voice as a method of identification, they will in turn demand similar convenience in more applications and across all industries. AI algorithms allows authentication to occur nearly, or wholly, imperceptibly to the end user, and the friction-heavy and time-consuming authentication processes that have been around since the founding of the internet will continue their march toward obsolescence.

Increased interest in stronger authentication

With the ripple effect of Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) regulation in Europe, 2020 will see an increase in enterprises committing to a better process of identifying customers. More organizations will require users to use a combination of information - what they know, what they have, and what they are - to positively identify themselves. Whether layering two biometric modes (like voice and face, or face and liveness detection) or using a combination like that of a PIN and a biometric marker, AI will continue to power stronger authentication that offers improvement in productivity for enterprise users, and in user experience for customers. 

I'm confident that AI will enable us to better prevent breaches and hacks while simultaneously improving a user's experience on any device, but R&D and IT budgets will have to reflect that the investment in keeping data safe is a serious one. Also, cooperative challenges like those from ASVspoof and NIST will become even more essential to tech development, as countering bad actors needs to be a truly comprehensive, global effort. 


About the Author

Konstantin Simonchik 

Konstantin Simonchik is ID R&D's Chief Science Officer and co-founder. Prior to ID R&D, Simonchik was the head of science at a large European biometric firm and a professor of Speech Information Systems at a leading research university. He has authored more than 30 scientific papers devoted to speaker recognition and anti-spoofing, holds multiple patents, and has received numerous recognitions and awards from organizations including IEEE, ASVspoof, and NIST. 
Published Friday, November 01, 2019 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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