In November of last year, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) was a gathering point for prominent voices in technology companies, academic institutions, and government agencies who sat down and discussed the implications of the AI revolution on global security. CNAS is far from being the only think-tank in the US that researches issues related to technology policy. Think tanks and academic institutions carry a heavy weight of responsibility for researching the implications of emerging technologies. Financially speaking, many of these groups count on the generosity of philanthropic foundations. The Hewlett Foundation is one of the leading organizations in this field, having maintained its own Cyber Initiativeprogram since 2014.

I sat down with Eli Sugarman, a former foreign affairs officer at the US State Department, whose passion for international security brought him from Washington DC to Stanford University’s Law School, and now to the Hewlett Foundation as the program officer of their Cyber Initiative program.

Roya Pakzad: What are some of the applications of AI in the context of cybersecurity?

Eli Sugarman: I think artificial intelligence and automation are going to change the world in many ways. When it comes to cybersecurity, one of the real challenges is that there are so many ways that your organizations can be compromised, that somebody can get into your networks and steal your data, surveil, or commit other malicious activities. So what you need to do is to detect them and prevent them from accessing the sensitive information.

Read the full interview with Eli Sugarman about cybersecurity by Roya Pakzad at