VMblog Expert Interview: Edgeless Systems Launches Continuum

#VMblog #Expert #Interview #Edgeless #Systems #Launches #Continuum


VMblog last interviewed Edgeless
Systems Co-Founder and CEO Felix Schuster back in February 2022. While a lot has happened with
Edgeless Systems in the past two years, today at the Open Confidential
Computing Conference they are announcing the launch of Continuum,
the first pioneering security solution that enables cloud-based
“Confidential AI” services. To learn more, VMblog spoke to Felix
Schuster, Co-Founder and CEO of Edgeless Systems.

VMblog:  Before we begin with questions
about the Continuum security solution that enables cloud-based
“Confidential AI”, can you give our readers some context by answering
the question, “What is Confidential Computing?”

Schuster:  Confidential computing enables end-to-end
encrypted and verifiable data processing. End-to-end encrypted here means that
the data remains encrypted even at runtime in memory. This is a breakthrough
concept. It allows one to run sensitive workloads in the cloud, while having
the assurance that not even the cloud provider can access the data.
Confidential computing features are available in recent server chips from Intel
and AMD. These chips and their features are widely available in the major
clouds. However, so far, it has been difficult to use these features correctly
and at scale.

VMblog: Given that context, tell us about your new product Continuum and
specifically how it enables cloud-based “Confidential AI” services?

Schuster:  At
its core, Continuum ensures that user requests (or “prompts”) and the
corresponding replies remain encrypted throughout within an AI service, making
plaintext data inaccessible to both the AI service provider and the underlying
cloud infrastructure. Furthermore, it protects the often highly valuable
weights of AI models in the same manner. To achieve this, Continuum leverages
the confidential computing capabilities of Nvidia H100 GPUs in concert with
cutting-edge cryptography and innovative sandboxing technology, allowing AI
service providers to freely update models and code without compromising

What is the problem that Continuum solves?

Schuster:  Since the release of ChatGPT,
generative artificial intelligence (AI) has been transformative across
industries and has found its way into a plentitude of productivity-boosting
products. However, enterprises, public sector entities, and consumers alike are
reluctant to use AI services with sensitive data due to concerns about data
leaks and the potential for AI models to be further trained on their input
data. Continuum solves that problem via its cloud-based
“Confidential AI” services.

VMblog: How do you see Continuum influencing
the generative AI market?

Schuster:  Continuum
will significantly influence the generative AI market as it allows a wider
range of enterprises, particularly those in regulated sectors, to confidently
utilize offerings like chatbots. Continuum embodies the mission of Edgeless
Systems to enable the use of cloud services without compromising on data
security or compliance.

 You are
announcing Continuum at the annual Open Confidential Computing Conference,
which takes place today (March 13, 2024). Tell us about this virtual conference
and where people can go for more information and to register.

Schuster:  The Open Confidential Computing Conference
(OC3) is the premier event for security architects, cloud-native software
engineers, IT security experts, CISOs, CTOs, security researchers, and
developers who want to learn about confidential computing. Whether brand new to
confidential computing or an advanced user, there is something for everyone at
OC3. See the conference schedule here. Hosted by Edgeless Systems, OC3 sponsors
and speakers
represent a “who’s who” in confidential computing including Google, Intel,
Microsoft, ARM and others. For details, visit https://www.oc3.dev/.