Artificial intelligence (AI) is a modern-day monolith that is likely going to be as important to the world as the introduction of the internet. We already see it creeping into every aspect of industry, from the basic chatbots you find on many websites to the self-driving cars under production at companies like Tesla.

As an industry, AI looks set to zoom past its current global valuation of $100 billion, becoming worth a staggering $2 trillion by 2030. To ensure you enjoy a prosperous career in an increasingly computer-powered world, you need to learn about AI. That’s where each artificial intelligence tutorial in this list can help you.

Top AI Tutorials for Beginners

If you know nothing about AI beyond the name, these are the three tutorials to get you started with the subject.

Tutorial 1 – Artificial Intelligence Tutorial for Beginners: Learn the Basics of AI (Guru99)

You need to get to the grips with AI theory before you can start with more practical work. Guru99’s tutorial helps you there, with a set of 11 lessons that take you from the most basic of concepts (what is AI?) to digging into the various types of machine learning. It’s like a crib notes version of an AI book, as it takes you on a speedy flight through AI fundamentals before capping its offer with a look at some practical applications.

Key Topics

  • The basic theory of AI and machine learning
  • Different types of machine learning algorithms
  • An introduction to neural networking

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

The tutorial is completely free, with every lesson being accessible via the Guru99 website with the click of a mouse. It’s also a great choice for complete AI newbies. You’ll cover the basics first, getting a grounding in AI in the process, before moving on to more complicated aspects of machine learning.

Tutorial 2 – Artificial Intelligence Tutorial for Beginners (Simplilearn)

This 14-lesson tutorial may seem intimidating at first. However, those 14 lessons only take an hour to complete, and the course has no prerequisites. This combination of brevity and a lack of tutorial requirements make it ideal for beginners who want to get to grips with the theory of AI. It’ll also help you develop some programming skills useful in more advanced courses.

Key Topics

  • Basic programming skills you can use to develop AI models
  • An introduction to Big Data and Spark
  • Basic AI concepts, including machine learning, linear algebra, and algorithms

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

Many of the tutorials you come across online will ask you to have a basic understanding of probability theory and linear algebra. This course equips you with those skills, in addition to giving you a solid grounding in many of the AI concepts (and machine learning models) you’ll encounter when you reach the intermediate level. Think of it as a crash course in the basics of AI.

Top AI Tutorials for Intermediate Learners

If you have a grasp of the basics, meaning you can separate your supervised learning algorithms from your unsupervised ones, you’re ready for these intermediate-level tutorials.

Tutorial 1 – Intro to Artificial Intelligence (Udacity)

Don’t let the use of the word “intro” in this tutorial’s name fool you because this is more than a mere explanation of AI concepts. As a four-month course, it requires you to have a good understanding of concepts like linear algebra and probability theory. Assuming you have that understanding, you’ll embark on a four-month self-paced learning journey (that’s completely free) that delves deep into the applications of AI.

Key Topics

  • The theoretical and practical applications of natural language processing
  • How AI has uses in every aspect of modern life, from advanced research to gaming
  • The fundamentals of AI that underpin the practical applications you learn about

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

The price tag is right, as this is one of the few Udacity courses you can take without spending any money. It’s also created by two of the best minds in AI – Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun – who deliver a nice mix of content, including instructor-led videos, quizzes, and experiential learning. Granted, there’s a large time commitment. But that commitment pays off as the course delivers a solid understanding of AI’s fundamentals and practical applications.

Tutorial 2 – Natural Language Processing Specialization (Coursera)

Anybody who’s used ChatGPT or “spoken” to a chatbot knows that a lot of companies are interested in what AI can do to deliver written content. That’s where Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes in, and this course is ideal for understanding the techniques that allow you to build chatbots and similar technologies.

Key Topics

  • How to use logistic regression (and other techniques) to conduct sentiment analysis
  • Build autocomplete and autocorrect models
  • Discover how to develop AI algorithms that both detect and use human language

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

Specialization is the key as you get deeper into the AI field. With this course, you focus your learning on language models and NLP, allowing you to dig deeper into an in-demand field that offers plenty of career opportunities. It’s somewhat intensive, requiring four months of study at about 10 hours per week to complete. But you get a shareable certificate at the end and develop a foundation in NLP that can apply in many business areas.

Top AI Tutorials for Advanced Learners

By the time you reach the advanced stage, you’re ready for your AI tutorials to teach you how to build and operate your own AI.

Tutorial 1 – Artificial Intelligence A-Z 2023: Build an AI With ChatGPT4 (Udemy)

With backing from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Artificial Intelligence A-Z tutorial covers some of the fundamentals but focuses mostly on practical applications. You’ll create several types of AI, including a snazzy virtual self-driving car and an AI designed to beat simple games, helping you get to grips with how to put the theory you’ve learned into practice. The tutorial comes with 17 videos, a trio of downloadable resources, and 20 articles. All of which you can access whenever you need them.

Key Topics

  • How to build practical AIs that actually do things
  • The fundamentals of complex topics, such as Q-Learning
  • How Asynchronous Advantage Actor Critic (AC3) applies to modern AI

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

The two main reasons to take this tutorial are that it gives you hands-on experience with some exciting AI concepts, and you get a certificate you can put on your CV when you’ve finished. It’s well-structured and popular, with almost 204,000 students having already taken it from all over the world. And at just £59.99 (approx. €69), you get a lot of bang for your buck with videos, articles, and downloadable resources.

Tutorial 2 – A* Pathfinding Tutorial – Unity (YouTube)

Many prospective game developers will get their start with Unity, which is a free development tool that you can use to create surprisingly complex games. This YouTube tutorial series includes 10 videos, which walk you through how to use the A* algorithm to program AIs to determine the paths characters follow in a video game. It requires some programming knowledge, specifically C#, but it’s ideal for those who want to use their AI skills to transition into the world of gaming.

Key Topics

  • Using the A* algorithm to create paths for AI-driven characters in video games
  • Movement smoothing and terrain-related penalties
  • Using multi-threading to improve pathfinding performance

Why Take This Artificial Intelligence Tutorial?

The price is certainly right for this tutorial, as the course creator (Sebastian Lague) makes all of his videos free to view on YouTube. But the biggest benefit of this tutorial is that it introduces complicated concepts that game developers use to determine character movement. If you’re interested in what makes video game characters “work” in terms of their actions in a game, this tutorial shows you the algorithm that underpins it all.

Additional AI Resources

The six tutorials in this list run the gamut from introducing you to the basics of AI to demonstrating specialized applications of the technology. Building on that knowledge requires you to go further, with the following books, podcasts, and websites all being great resources.

Great AI-Related Books

  • Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (Peter Norvig and Stuart Russell)
  • Python: Advanced Guide to Artificial Intelligence (Giuseppe Bonaccorso)
  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning (Charu C Aggarwal)

Great AI-Related Podcasts

  • The AI Podcast (Noah Kravitz)
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI Podcast (Lex Fridman)
  • Eye on AI (Craig Smith)

Great AI-Related Websites and Blogs

  • MIT News
  • Analytics Vidhya
  • KDnuggets

Understand Complex Concepts With an Artificial Intelligence Tutorial

AI is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, with the previously-mentioned $2 trillion 2030 valuation representing a 20-fold growth from today. The point? Getting in close to the ground floor now by developing your understanding of AI concepts will set you up for a future in which many of the best jobs are in the AI field.

Each artificial intelligence tutorial in this list offers something different to students, from beginners who want to get to grips with AI to those who have a decent understanding and are ready to specialize. Regardless of the course you choose, the most important thing is that you keep learning. AI won’t stay static. It’s like a runaway locomotive that’s going to keep plowing forward, with nothing to stop it, to its next evolution. Use these tutorials to learn both basic and advanced concepts, then build on that learning with continued education.

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Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Human-Centric Cyber Threats
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
Apr 17, 2024 9 min read

Human-centric cyber threats have long posed a serious issue for organizations. After all, humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Unfortunately, when artificial intelligence came into the mix, it only made these threats even more dangerous.

So, what can be done about these cyber threats now?

That’s precisely what we asked Tom Vazdar, the chair of the Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program at the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), and Venicia Solomons, aka the “Cyber Queen.”

They dedicated a significant portion of their “Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Navigating New Risks” master class to AI-powered human-centric cyber threats. So, let’s see what these two experts have to say on the topic.

Human-Centric Cyber Threats 101

Before exploring how AI impacted human-centric cyber threats, let’s go back to the basics. What are human-centric cyber threats?

As you might conclude from the name, human-centric cyber threats are cybersecurity risks that exploit human behavior or vulnerabilities (e.g., fear). Even if you haven’t heard of the term “human-centric cyber threats,” you’ve probably heard of (or even experienced) the threats themselves.

The most common of these threats are phishing attacks, which rely on deceptive emails to trick users into revealing confidential information (or clicking on malicious links). The result? Stolen credentials, ransomware infections, and general IT chaos.

How Has AI Impacted Human-Centric Cyber Threats?

AI has infiltrated virtually every cybersecurity sector. Social engineering is no different.

As mentioned, AI has made human-centric cyber threats substantially more dangerous. How? By making them difficult to spot.

In Venicia’s words, AI has allowed “a more personalized and convincing social engineering attack.”

In terms of email phishing, malicious actors use AI to write “beautifully crafted emails,” as Tom puts it. These emails contain no grammatical errors and can mimic the sender’s writing style, making them appear more legitimate and harder to identify as fraudulent.

These highly targeted AI-powered phishing emails are no longer considered “regular” phishing attacks but spear phishing emails, which are significantly more likely to fool their targets.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

As AI technology advances, its capabilities go far beyond crafting a simple email. Venicia warns that AI-powered voice technology can even create convincing voice messages or phone calls that sound exactly like a trusted individual, such as a colleague, supervisor, or even the CEO of the company. Obey the instructions from these phone calls, and you’ll likely put your organization in harm’s way.

How to Counter AI-Powered Human-Centric Cyber Threats

Given how advanced human-centric cyber threats have gotten, one logical question arises – how can organizations counter them? Luckily, there are several ways to do this. Some rely on technology to detect and mitigate threats. However, most of them strive to correct what caused the issue in the first place – human behavior.

Enhancing Email Security Measures

The first step in countering the most common human-centric cyber threats is a given for everyone, from individuals to organizations. You must enhance your email security measures.

Tom provides a brief overview of how you can do this.

No. 1 – you need a reliable filtering solution. For Gmail users, there’s already one such solution in place.

No. 2 – organizations should take full advantage of phishing filters. Before, only spam filters existed, so this is a major upgrade in email security.

And No. 3 – you should consider implementing DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) to prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks.

Keeping Up With System Updates

Another “technical” move you can make to counter AI-powered human-centric cyber threats is to ensure all your systems are regularly updated. Fail to keep up with software updates and patches, and you’re looking at a strong possibility of facing zero-day attacks. Zero-day attacks are particularly dangerous because they exploit vulnerabilities that are unknown to the software vendor, making them difficult to defend against.

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Nurturing a Culture of Skepticism

The key component of the human-centric cyber threats is, in fact, humans. That’s why they should also be the key component in countering these threats.

At an organizational level, numerous steps are needed to minimize the risks of employees falling for these threats. But it all starts with what Tom refers to as a “culture of skepticism.”

Employees should constantly be suspicious of any unsolicited emails, messages, or requests for sensitive information.

They should always ask themselves – who is sending this, and why are they doing so?

This is especially important if the correspondence comes from a seemingly trusted source. As Tom puts it, “Don’t click immediately on a link that somebody sent you because you are familiar with the name.” He labels this as the “Rule No. 1” of cybersecurity awareness.

Growing the Cybersecurity Culture

The ultra-specific culture of skepticism will help create a more security-conscious workforce. But it’s far from enough to make a fundamental change in how employees perceive (and respond to) threats. For that, you need a strong cybersecurity culture.

Tom links this culture to the corporate culture. The organization’s mission, vision, statement of purpose, and values that shape the corporate culture should also be applicable to cybersecurity. Of course, this isn’t something companies can do overnight. They must grow and nurture this culture if they are to see any meaningful results.

According to Tom, it will probably take at least 18 months before these results start to show.

During this time, organizations must work on strengthening the relationships between every department, focusing on the human resources and security sectors. These two sectors should be the ones to primarily grow the cybersecurity culture within the company, as they’re well versed in the two pillars of this culture – human behavior and cybersecurity.

However, this strong interdepartmental relationship is important for another reason.

As Tom puts it, “[As humans], we cannot do anything by ourselves. But as a collective, with the help within the organization, we can.”

Staying Educated

The world of AI and cybersecurity have one thing in common – they never sleep. The only way to keep up with these ever-evolving worlds is to stay educated.

The best practice would be to gain a solid base by completing a comprehensive program, such as OPIT’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program. Then, it’s all about continuously learning about new developments, trends, and threats in AI and cybersecurity.

Conducting Regular Training

For most people, it’s not enough to just explain how human-centric cyber threats work. They must see them in action. Especially since many people believe that phishing attacks won’t happen to them or, if they do, they simply won’t fall for them. Unfortunately, neither of these are true.

Approximately 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent each day, and millions of them successfully bypass all email authentication methods. With such high figures, developing critical thinking among the employees is the No. 1 priority. After all, humans are the first line of defense against cyber threats.

But humans must be properly trained to counter these cyber threats. This training includes the organization’s security department sending fake phishing emails to employees to test their vigilance. Venicia calls employees who fall for these emails “clickers” and adds that no one wants to be a clicker. So, they do everything in their power to avoid falling for similar attacks in the future.

However, the key to successful employee training in this area also involves avoiding sending similar fake emails. If the company keeps trying to trick the employees in the same way, they’ll likely become desensitized and less likely to take real threats seriously.

So, Tom proposes including gamification in the training. This way, the training can be more engaging and interactive, encouraging employees to actively participate and learn. Interestingly, AI can be a powerful ally here, helping create realistic scenarios and personalized learning experiences based on employee responses.

Following in the Competitors’ Footsteps

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s crucial to be proactive rather than reactive. Even if an organization hasn’t had issues with cyberattacks, it doesn’t mean it will stay this way. So, the best course of action is to monitor what competitors are doing in this field.

However, organizations shouldn’t stop with their competitors. They should also study other real-world social engineering incidents that might give them valuable insights into the tactics used by the malicious actors.

Tom advises visiting the many open-source databases reporting on these incidents and using the data to build an internal educational program. This gives organizations a chance to learn from other people’s mistakes and potentially prevent those mistakes from happening within their ecosystem.

Stay Vigilant

It’s perfectly natural for humans to feel curiosity when it comes to new information, anxiety regarding urgent-looking emails, and trust when seeing a familiar name pop up on the screen. But in the world of cybersecurity, these basic human emotions can cause a lot of trouble. That is, at least, when humans act on them.

So, organizations must work on correcting human behaviors, not suppressing basic human emotions. By doing so, they can help employees develop a more critical mindset when interacting with digital communications. The result? A cyber-aware workforce that’s well-equipped to recognize and respond to phishing attacks and other cyber threats appropriately.

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Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: The AI Revolution in Cybersecurity
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
Apr 17, 2024 9 min read

There’s no doubt about it – artificial intelligence has revolutionized almost every aspect of modern life. Healthcare, finance, and manufacturing are just some of the sectors that have been virtually turned upside down by this powerful new force. Cybersecurity also ranks high on this list.

But as much as AI can benefit cybersecurity, it also presents new challenges. Or – to be more direct –new threats.

To understand just how serious these threats are, we’ve enlisted the help of two prominent figures in the cybersecurity world – Tom Vazdar and Venicia Solomons. Tom is the chair of the Master’s Degree in Enterprise Cybersecurity program at the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT). Venicia, better known as the “Cyber Queen,” runs a widely successful cybersecurity community looking to empower women to succeed in the industry.

Together, they held a master class titled “Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Navigating New Risks.” In this article, you get the chance to hear all about the double-edged sword that is AI in cybersecurity.

How Can Organizations Benefit From Using AI in Cybersecurity?

As with any new invention, AI has primarily been developed to benefit people. In the case of AI, this mainly refers to enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and automation in tasks that would be challenging or impossible for people to perform alone.

However, as AI technology evolves, its potential for both positive and negative impacts becomes more apparent.

But just because the ugly side of AI has started to rear its head more dramatically, it doesn’t mean we should abandon the technology altogether. The key, according to Venicia, is in finding a balance. And according to Tom, this balance lies in treating AI the same way you would cybersecurity in general.

Keep reading to learn what this means.

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Implement a Governance Framework

In cybersecurity, there is a governance framework called ISO/IEC 27000, whose goal is to provide a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information, ensuring it remains secure. A similar framework has recently been created for AI— ISO/IEC 42001.

Now, the trouble lies in the fact that many organizations “don’t even have cybersecurity, not to speak artificial intelligence,” as Tom puts it. But the truth is that they need both if they want to have a chance at managing the risks and complexities associated with AI technology, thus only reaping its benefits.

Implement an Oversight Mechanism

Fearing the risks of AI in cybersecurity, many organizations chose to forbid the usage of this technology outright within their operations. But by doing so, they also miss out on the significant benefits AI can offer in enhancing cybersecurity defenses.

So, an all-out ban on AI isn’t a solution. A well-thought-out oversight mechanism is.

According to Tom, this control framework should dictate how and when an organization uses cybersecurity and AI and when these two fields are to come in contact. It should also answer the questions of how an organization governs AI and ensures transparency.

With both of these frameworks (governance and oversight), it’s not enough to simply implement new mechanisms. Employees should also be educated and regularly trained to uphold the principles outlined in these frameworks.

Control the AI (Not the Other Way Around!)

When it comes to relying on AI, one principle should be every organization’s guiding light. Control the AI; don’t let the AI control you.

Of course, this includes controlling how the company’s employees use AI when interacting with client data, business secrets, and other sensitive information.

Now, the thing is – people don’t like to be controlled.

But without control, things can go off the rails pretty quickly.

Tom gives just one example of this. In 2022, an improperly trained (and controlled) chatbot gave an Air Canada customer inaccurate information and a non-existing discount. As a result, the customer bought a full-price ticket. A lawsuit ensued, and in 2024, the court ruled in the customer’s favor, ordering Air Canada to pay compensation.

This case alone illustrates one thing perfectly – you must have your AI systems under control. Tom hypothesizes that the system was probably affordable and easy to implement, but it eventually cost Air Canada dearly in terms of financial and reputational damage.

How Can Organizations Protect Themselves Against AI-Driven Cyberthreats?

With well-thought-out measures in place, organizations can reap the full benefits of AI in cybersecurity without worrying about the threats. But this doesn’t make the threats disappear. Even worse, these threats are only going to get better at outsmarting the organization’s defenses.

So, what can the organizations do about these threats?

Here’s what Tom and Venicia suggest.

Fight Fire With Fire

So, AI is potentially attacking your organization’s security systems? If so, use AI to defend them. Implement your own AI-enhanced threat detection systems.

But beware – this isn’t a one-and-done solution. Tom emphasizes the importance of staying current with the latest cybersecurity threats. More importantly – make sure your systems are up to date with them.

Also, never rely on a single control system. According to our experts, “layered security measures” are the way to go.

Never Stop Learning (and Training)

When it comes to AI in cybersecurity, continuous learning and training are of utmost importance – learning for your employees and training for the AI models. It’s the only way to ensure all system aspects function properly and your employees know how to use each and every one of them.

This approach should also alleviate one of the biggest concerns regarding an increasing AI implementation. Namely, employees fear that they will lose their jobs due to AI. But the truth is, the AI systems need them just as much as they need those systems.

As Tom puts it, “You need to train the AI system so it can protect you.”

That’s why studying to be a cybersecurity professional is a smart career move.

However, you’ll want to find a program that understands the importance of AI in cybersecurity and equips you to handle it properly. Get a master’s degree in Enterprise Security from OPIT, and that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Join the Bigger Fight

When it comes to cybersecurity, transparency is key. If organizations fail to report cybersecurity incidents promptly and accurately, they not only jeopardize their own security but also that of other organizations and individuals. Transparency builds trust and allows for collaboration in addressing cybersecurity threats collectively.

So, our experts urge you to engage in information sharing and collaborative efforts with other organizations, industry groups, and governmental bodies to stay ahead of threats.

How Has AI Impacted Data Protection and Privacy?

Among the challenges presented by AI, one stands out the most – the potential impact on data privacy and protection. Why? Because there’s a growing fear that personal data might be used to train large AI models.

That’s why European policymakers sprang into action and introduced the Artificial Intelligence Act in March 2024.

This regulation, implemented by the European Parliament, aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI. The act is akin to the well-known General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed in 2016 but exclusively targets the use of AI. The good news for those fearful of AI’s potential negative impact is that every requirement imposed by this act is backed up with heavy penalties.

But how can organizations ensure customers, clients, and partners that their data is fully protected?

According to our experts, the answer is simple – transparency, transparency, and some more transparency!

Any employed AI system must be designed in a way that doesn’t jeopardize anyone’s privacy and freedom. However, it’s not enough to just design the system in such a way. You must also ensure all the stakeholders understand this design and the system’s operation. This includes providing clear information about the data being collected, how it’s being used, and the measures in place to protect it.

Beyond their immediate group of stakeholders, organizations also must ensure that their data isn’t manipulated or used against people. Tom gives an example of what must be avoided at all costs. Let’s say a client applies for a loan in a financial institution. Under no circumstances should that institution use AI to track the client’s personal data and use it against them, resulting in a loan ban. This hypothetical scenario is a clear violation of privacy and trust.

And according to Tom, “privacy is more important than ever.” The same goes for internal ethical standards organizations must develop.

Keeping Up With Cybersecurity

Like most revolutions, AI has come in fast and left many people (and organizations) scrambling to keep up. However, those who recognize that AI isn’t going anywhere have taken steps to embrace it and fully benefit from it. They see AI for what it truly is – a fundamental shift in how we approach technology and cybersecurity.

Those individuals have also chosen to advance their knowledge in the field by completing highly specialized and comprehensive programs like OPIT’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program. Coincidentally, this is also the program where you get to hear more valuable insights from Tom Vazdar, as he has essentially developed this course.

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