Gitex 2020: AI, cybersecurity take centre stage at tech event
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Gitex 2020: AI, cybersecurity take centre stage at tech event

Gitex 2020: AI, cybersecurity take centre stage at tech event

Experts tackle bias in artificial intelligence


Traditional cyber threats, coupled with challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, have compelled organisations to look ahead and build resilient systems and processes that can better withstand future pandemics.

At GISEC, cybersecurity conference, hosted under GITEX, Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, head of Cyber Security at the UAE government, discussed the cyber threat landscape, and how the UAE government is leveraging AI to build a more resilient post-pandemic world.

“It is important to build a culture of readiness, and that is why the National Cybersecurity Council was established by the nation’s leadership,” he said. “As the UAE ensures preparedness from cybersecurity attacks, public-private partnerships with industry vendors will play a vital role in strengthening the UAE’s digital security. Phishing and ransomware remain the top types of cybersecurity attacks, while the financial and healthcare sectors are among those most targeted,” Al-Kuwaiti added.

Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, director of Information Services at the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), explained the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy, whose goal is to protect Dubai from a range of cybersecurity risks and support the emirate’s economic growth.

“The vision behind Dubai Electronic Security Centre is to make Dubai the safest city in the world in cyberspace by continuously overcoming cybersecurity challenges, pushing the envelope with technology utilisation to cater for our stakeholder needs as well as looking forward to the future. This realisation comes from establishing a strategy of 5 pillars as cybersecurity; cyber smart society; innovation; cyber resilience; and international collaboration.

In July, Dubai launched the Dubai Cyber Index, an initiative that seeks to promote healthy competition among government entities in the field of cybersecurity and encourage the development of capabilities and excellence in this area.

“One of the key objectives of our Cyber Security Index is to enhance the readiness of government entities to deal with various cyber threat scenarios. The Index measures the performance of government entities in several areas, including the rapid response to security alerts, the number of incidents resolved, and the amount of data associated with the Security Operations Centre,” said Alzarouni.

Al-Kuwaiti: It is important to build a culture of readiness.

IBM, Smart Dubai tackle AI bias

AI was meant to solve one of the biggest problems of our society – the problem of bias. However, when algorithms fed into computers and systems are trained on faulty, biased data they are bound to make mistakes, negatively impacting and influencing human experiences and decision-making.

Dr. Seth Dobrin, chief data officer IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software was joined by Younus Al Nasser, assistant director-general, Smart Dubai and CEO, Dubai Data Establishment, to discuss the issue on stage.

“We are trying to create a trust for AI,” said Al Nasser. “Explaining technology is essential to build trust and to see its widespread implementation. AI offers so many positive applications. There needs to be transparency and we need to explain how data is being used to build this trust. Let’s come together and try to explain what we are trying to achieve together. This way we can make AI even smarter and it will impact lives. If we want to make Dubai the happiest city in the world, we need to explain to people what AI does.”

Dr. Juergen Rahmel, chief digital officer, AI and ML advisor, HSBC, discussed why the full potential of AI can only be realised within a framework that supports trust and operates in scope that benefits each stakeholder.

“I like to compare AI to a wild horse. It has tremendous potential but needs to be harnessed in the right ways to become useful. We need to set up AI systems that are aligned with our existing ethical corporate standards and are placed within a framework that ensures human accountability and full transparency,” said Rahmel.

“Talent is pivotal in developing a framework for AI ethical standards. Harnessing data doesn’t just require experts to develop AI systems, but highly skilled experts to use them and extract useful data,” he added.

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