Discover more from Cristi Vlad
The Insider Weekly #8 - My Cyber-AI Projects | Typical Day In My Life
I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about AI and machine learning as I’ve been in the last few days. And you know why? Because I’m working on something highly practical and with the potential for a massive impact on me and on other professionals in cybersecurity.
Few of you know, but AI has been one of my first loves. I was teaching and writing about visual recognition with Python and IBM Watson back in 2016, way before ML & AI were a thing. Throughout the years, my two major focus points have been my work in cybersecurity and machine learning. And I had always been on the lookout for bridges between the two.
Two days ago, just before dozing off, I had this striking thought. I had just found one of the many bridges. I couldn’t fall asleep that night because of the excitement and the rush the idea gave me.
The next morning I was prototyping. It didn’t take long until I had something that was working. And I posted about it on Twitter later that day.
I will not disclose more about this right now. At some point in the near future, it will go live. And it will change the game for many professionals in cybersecurity.
I’m also working on another project with @0xblackbird. We should have an MVP soon.
I ran a Twitter poll asking people how much they would pay for this. One of the options was $0. The poll got about 900 votes, 78% of which said they would pay $0. This means we have about 22% of people who would pay. Therefore we have a market.
Our main focus is to deliver quality for this money, and of course, as I said on Twitter, it’s obvious that those voting for $0 will not have access to our product/service.
I was alluding to givers and takers, as in Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take. Those people who always want to get and never give anything in return. The forever ungrateful. I am doing my best to keep this typology of personality away from my physical and virtual presence.
When it comes to my work with my pentesting clients, things returned to a smoother flow, as I’m currently working on 1-2 assessments at any given moment. This gives me sufficient time to shift between my AI and my cybersecurity projects and it also leaves me room for my ongoing studies. To protect my study time, I had to refuse additional projects that came my way this week.
On top of everything, I received a bunch of invites to private bug bounty programs on 2 platforms. I said to myself that I will devote some time each week to playing with these private programs because platforms like Intigriti have been more than kind to me throughout the years.
I also told you about the Appsec Engineer Annual PRO subscription ($399) giveaway. Yesterday, I announced the winner.
On the personal side of things, I didn’t make any progress with waking up at 7:30 AM mostly because I studied late at night, and this past week I went to bed between midnight and 1:00 AM.
Ultimately, my goal is to fall asleep by 11:30 PM and be up around 7:30 AM; and use the block of time until 11 AM to study, work on blogs and YouTube videos, and on my entrepreneurial projects. Then, the entire afternoon goes to pentesting and appsec projects; the evenings to a bit of bug hunting, reading and studying. In-between everything: sports (working out, biking, walking) and time spent with my close ones.
This past week was very cold (below freezing) in Romania. It was the best time to be out cycling because there were fewer people on the streets.
And I also did two 40+ hour fasts; this always boost my mental acuity and capacity to focus for prolonged periods of time.
I’m eager to test Bing’s new chat engine. I’m glad that this AI war between the giants (mainly Google and Microsoft) is in favor of the consumer. We get to pick good products at reasonable prices. For creators, it’s even better!
I’m also waiting to throw money at OpenAI on a monthly basis for a ChatGPT subscription. In between are many smaller players in the AI field that I might mention in future writings.
Even though I have always had most notifications on my phone turned off, with a few exceptions, now I turned all of them off. The only ones that come through are calls and text messages. It’s been a game-changer, again! I need to have peace of mind when working on my projects and in my daily life, otherwise, I’m stuck in limbo, at the mercy of my phone. Takeaway: don’t be a slave to your handheld devices.
I reached 20k followers on Twitter. I was at 15k in December 2022. I’ve been on Twitter since 2013. The massive boost in recent months is due to my increased activity on the platform, mainly.
Have something to tell me? Reply to this email or comment. Otherwise, I’ll see you next week, or earlier :)