Cybersecurity in the age of artificial intelligence

15 Jun 2017 16:30h - 18:15h

Event report

[Read more session reports from WSIS Forum 2017]

The objective of this session was to explore the risks of the information and communication technology (ICT) developments brought by the fourth industrial revolution, the positive use of these developments, and partnership opportunities between stakeholders for ensuring trustworthy and ethical technology solutions.

In the role of moderator, Ms Moira de Roche Holmes (Deputy chair, International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3)) introduced the topics that the panellists touched upon: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning technologies, and safety and privacy guarantees for e-commerce. Holmes raised the issue of cybersecurity, trust, and the importance of providing people with digital skills, in order to enable privacy and security in the current digital world.

Mr Stephen Ibaraki (Vice-chair of IFIP IP3) opened the discussion with a presentation on the rapid progress of AI developments and trends. According to Ibaraki, AI will help solve most human challenges in the health, transport, space, environment, and economic sectors. When describing the trends in AI, Ibaraki’s emphasis was on the increase in investment towards AI developments, the high volume of data that is driving AI, its power in analysing data, and the high impact on the economic, social, and cultural level. Therefore, AI is driving knowledge in all sectors of life, and the development of these sectors will be affected by the rise of AI. Moreover, Ibaraki presented AI as central contributor in reaching the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by providing medical care solutions for disabled people, robotics, model climate change to predict disasters, increase in agricultural productivity etc. Ibaraki also raised the issue of the status of robots and the need for a code of ethics.

Ms Brenda Aynsley (Chair of IFIP IP3) addressed the issue of trust in the age of AI, acknowledging the role of AI innovation as central in achieving the SDGs. Aynsley stressed that cybersecurity is important for economic growth, implying that trust is fundamental for ensuring it. Therefore, trust was presented as a multi-disciplinary concept that includes reliability and integrity. 

In order to maintain safety in the digital age, Aynsley outlined the following actions that people need to consider: being aware and informed of the digital service provider, demanding for ICT qualified and certified operators, and asking questions about ICT tools. When speaking about providing solutions for data protection, Aynsley highlighted the need for applying the ‘duty of care’ for everyone handling ICT, from producers, to providers and users. The community and corporate space should develop information security winners, establish collaborative models, and cross-border issues facilitation programmes. The governments should emphasise the sharing of information to combat cyber-attacks. Aynsley also mentioned the launch of the New Simplified Guide for Accrediting Schemes to Recognise ICT professionals.

In conclusion, the development of collaborative partnerships between the government, civil society organisations, and ICT sector companies, was highlighted by the speakers as a solution to provide trust and safety for people in the digital age.


by Noemi Szabo