Cybersecurity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


Session 328

16:30–18:15, Thursday, 15 June 2017 Popov Room 2, ITU Tower Thematic Workshop

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What you need to do to protect yourself and your citizens, whilst growing your economy

Cybersecurity is a risk that faces everybody, and none more than the Information Society. The more connected we are, the more vulnerable we become – and the only defence is to be sure that the providers of technology solutions are trustworthy and ethical. 

Those that provide ICT solutions must be held to a standard where they provide safe solutions that do no harm. This is increasingly important in the age of the Fourth Industrial revolution with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning, all of which have the power to make everyone’s lives easier, and can provide economic opportunity, but come with a concomitant risk.

The workshop speakers will explore the risks, and because it all comes down to the people who provide the products and services, the following questions will be examined:

  • E-commerce is an economic enabler. Could your economy improve if online shopping was safe, and privacy guaranteed?
  • Vast armies of bots crawl the net for vulnerable IoT devices – it takes less than two minutes to find a new device and infect it.  (Symantec Internet Security Report Volume 22). How can our citizens benefit from the inter-connectedness of the Internet of Thing (IoT), without being put at risk?
  • AI has received increased attention in recent years following news of progress in the field and the prospect of new, tangible, innovation such as self-driving cars. The Internet has played an important role in these developments, particularly as the platform for AI enabled services – some with significant implications for the continued development of a trusted Internet.  It is worth remembering that AI is also used for ordinary day-to-day applications that we are all familiar with such as:
  1. Email filtering: Email services use artificial intelligence to filter incoming emails. Users can train their spam filters by marking emails as “spam”.
  2. Personalization: Online services use artificial intelligence to personalize your experience. Services, like Amazon or Netflix, “learn” from your previous purchases and the purchases of other users to recommend relevant content for you.
  3. Fraud detection: Banks use artificial intelligence to determine if there is strange activity on your account.
  4. Speech recognition: Applications use artificial intelligence to optimize speech recognition functions. Examples include intelligent personal assistants.

AI is a technology that could make the world a better place, but there are many risks (internet Society Policy Paper 26 April 2017). What are some of the risks, and how can we mitigate against them?

  • AI uses Machine Learning. Put simply Machine Learning is using algorithms to create algorithms. Again, this technology has immense power.  How do we ensure it is used for the good of society and is not used for nefarious purposes?

The workshop will conclude by exploring the partnerships that can be built between governments, civil society organisations and IFIP to ensure the provisioning is trustworthy and ethical.


Ms. Moira de Roche Holmes, Deputy chair, IFIP IP3


Mr. Mike Hinchey, President IFIP

Ms. Brenda Aynsley, Chair, IFIP IP3

Mr. Stephen Ibaraki, Vice-chair, IFIP IP3


Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
  • AL C6 logo C6. Enabling environment
  • AL C10 logo C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure logo Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation


Link to this session