Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today announced $1,820,000 for Virginia universities to research and develop AI capabilities to mitigate cyberattacks. Federal funding will allow the University of Virginia and Norfolk State University to study innovative AI-based approaches to cybersecurity. Researchers from these institutions will collaborate with teams at 10 additional educational institutions and 20 private industry partners to develop revolutionary methods to counter cyberattacks in which AI-enabled intelligent security agents will cooperate with humans to build more resilient networks.

“Addressing the cybersecurity threats that our nation faces requires constant adaptation and innovation, and utilizing AI to counter these threats is an incredibly exciting use-case for this emerging technology,” said Sen. Warner. “This funding will allow teams at the University of Virginia and Norfolk State to do groundbreaking research on ways AI can help safeguard against cyberattacks. I congratulate UVA and NSU on receiving this funding, and I can’t wait to see what they discover and develop. 

The funding is distributed as follows:

·         Norfolk State University will receive $975,000.

·         University of Virginia will receive $845,000.

Funding for these awards is provided jointly by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and IBM. Investments are designed to build a diverse AI workforce across the United States. 

Sen. Warner, a former tech entrepreneur, has been a vocal advocate for improving cybersecurity and security-oriented design by AI companies. In April, he sent a series of letters to CEOs of several AI companies urging them to prioritize security, combat bias, and responsibly roll out new technologies. In November 2022, he published “Cybersecurity is Patient Safety,” a policy options paper that outlined current cybersecurity threats facing health care providers and offering a series of policy solutions to improve cybersecurity. As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Warner co-authored legislation that requires companies responsible for U.S. critical infrastructure report cybersecurity incidents to the government. He has also introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at building a more secure internet, including the RESTRICT Act, which would comprehensively address the ongoing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries and the SAFE TECH Act, which would reform Section 230 and allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, online harassment, and discrimination on social media platforms.