GITEX 2020: Cybersecurity, AI take centre-stage

Gitex Technology Week

The UAE News report: The 40th edition of GITEX Technology Week, the only major technology event to go live in 2020, brought back in-person conferences, which saw artificial intelligence and cybersecurity experts shed light on issues including the ethical governance and associated bias with AI.

Day one of GITEX highlighted the ‘Safest Cyberspace in the World’ initiative by the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), while Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government, discussed the importance of AI ‘resilience’ during the pandemic.

AI resilience during the cyber pandemic era

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, the region’s leading cybersecurity conference, hosted under GITEX, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, 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. 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,” said H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti.
DESC highlights ‘Safest Cyberspace in the World’

With a broader aim of positioning Dubai as an international role model for cybersecurity, the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) discussed the ‘Safest Cyberspace in the World’ initiative at GISEC 2020, the region’s leading cybersecurity event, hosted under the GITEX umbrella at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, Founding Member of Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) and Artificial Intelligence Ethical Committee, Director, Information Services, DESC, deep dived into the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy, explaining the goal of protecting 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.

“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.”

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.

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, Vice President and Chief Data Officer, IBM Analytics, IBM, was joined by H.E. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai & CEO, Dubai Data Establishment, to discuss the issue on stage.

H.E. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai and CEO, Dubai Data Establishment, said, “We are trying to create trust for AI. Explaining the technology is essential in order 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.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Dobrin has generated value across a range of industries by applying data and AI ethically, and is currently responsible for the digital transformation of cloud and cognitive software operations using data and analytics.

Ethical governance of AI: How do you tame a wild horse?

Dr. Juergen Rahmel, Chief Digital Officer, AI & ML Advisor, HSBC, discussed why the full potential of AI can only be realised within a framework that supports trust and operates in a scope that benefits each stakeholder. Deep-diving into how he developed AI ethics and data principles which are now a benchmark for the Fintech world, Dr Rahmel said, “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.
“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.” –