The World Economic Forum announced today the launch of the Global AI Action Alliance (GAIA), a new flagship initiative to accelerate the adoption of inclusive, transparent and trusted artificial intelligence globally.
AI holds the promise of making organizations 40% more efficient by 2035, unlocking an estimated $14 trillion in new economic value. But as AI’s transformative potential has become clear, so, too, have the risks posed by unsafe or unethical AI systems.
Recent controversies on facial recognition, automated decision-making and COVID-19 tracking have shown that realizing AI’s potential requires strong buy-in from citizens and governments, based on their trust that AI is being built and used ethically.
Recognizing this, over 175 organizations have proposed ethical AI principles. While this explosive growth in AI principles is welcome, it has created fragmentation. Further effort is required to translate these principles into practical tools for organizations to ensure AI’s positive future.
The GAIA is a new, multistakeholder collaboration platform designed to accelerate the development and adoption of such tools globally and in industry sectors. The Alliance brings together over 100 leading companies, governments, international organizations, non-profits and academics united in their commitment to maximizing AI’s societal benefits while minimizing its risks.
“AI holds the potential to deliver enormous benefits to society, but only if it is used responsibly. We are launching the Global AI Action Alliance along with our partners to shape a positive, human-centred future for AI at this decisive moment in its development,” saidKlaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
Members of the Alliance work together to identify and implement the most promising tools and practices for ensuring that AI systems are ethical and serve all society members, including groups historically under-represented in the AI ecosystem. Supported by a grant from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, the Alliance provides a community for real-time learning and rapid scaling of proven approaches to ethical AI, as well as a forum to accelerate collective action on emerging challenges and issues.
A Steering Committee consisting of top global leaders from industry, government, academia and civil society guides the Alliance. The Steering Committee is co-chaired by Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM, and Vilas Dhar, President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a global AI and data philanthropy.
Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM and Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Steering Committee, said: “It is an honour to co-lead the Global AI Action Alliance and to contribute IBM’s expertise in AI ethics to accelerate the group’s work. I am confident that together we can make the promise and benefits of responsible AI a reality across our society.”
Vilas Dhar, President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Steering Committee, said: “In this pivotal year of global transformation, AI can be a powerful enabler of greater equity, justice and prosperity. To align stakeholders in this shared vision, GAIA offers the opportunity to bring together diverse voices, learn from success and failures, and build shared technology that amplifies the very best of humanity.”
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director and member of the Steering Committee, joins the panel discussion launching the Alliance. “Technologies like AI are fundamentally changing the ways in which children learn, play and relate to each other,” she said. “Children and young people are major users of AI. More needs to be done to help them benefit from the opportunity it offers while protecting them from the risks it poses. We are happy to be part of the Global AI Action Alliance to help make AI work for, and protect, every child.”
The Alliance will be supported in its mission by leading non-profits committed to driving cutting-edge projects focused on key impact areas and unmet needs, including AI Global, the Institute of AI, AI and You, and EqualAI. Initial areas of focus include:
- Educating government and industry leaders on AI risks, opportunities and best practices
- Fostering international peer learning between legislators focused on AI
- Driving responsible product design and use within AI-driven organizations
- Developing a certification mark for responsible AI systems
- Identifying and reducing bias in AI systems
- Increasing inclusion in the AI ecosystem and expanding AI’s benefit to underserved groups
- Unlocking access to justice through the application of AI in judicial systems
- Leveraging AI to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals
- Preparing citizens for the AI future and empowering them to help shape it
900 suspects detained with the help of Moscow Metro’s face recognition system
Since the beginning of September, about 900 suspects have been detained in Moscow with the help of face recognition, said the Head of Moscow Metro’s Security Service Andrei Kichigin in an interview with Lenta.ru. The arrested people were suspected of committing serious crimes, including those related to drug trafficking, theft, causing grievous bodily harm and other violations.
Mr. Kichigin underlined that the face recognition system does not include any personal data. “The face recognition system does not know neither names nor other personal data. Only wanted people are checked, if they are in the law enforcement services’ database. If a person is not in the base, there is nothing to compare to”– says Andrei Kichigin.
According to Moscow Metro, cameras also help to find lost child renor elderly people. Since September 2020, the facial recognition system has helped find 25 children and minors. Another way to use the technology is to evaluate the work of metro employees and remotely monitor the quality of the cleaning service: for example, the quality of cleaning in cars and at stations. The cameras will also help improve the work of the service for assessing the load of cars.
In general, all our actions are aimed at improving the passenger experience of using transport. This is the main goal of all the changes: the installation of CCTV cameras, face recognition and new digital services. We need to make sure we use efficient tools to ensure a safe and comfortable metro environment, – says Andrei Kichigin.
Finally, Mr. Kichigin noted that face recognition will enable the launch of the FacePay service, which will allow paying for travel by “face” at turnstiles and at cash desks. The system is being tested and will be available to passengers throughout the metro by the end of 2021. Andrey Kichigin notes that a similar identity verification system for purchases using Face ID has long been used by smartphone owners.
Antivirus and Firewall “Security” Measures are OBSOLETE in 2021 – and it’s getting worse
“Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean Someone Isn’t Trying to Hack You.”
Last year was “perhaps the most active year in memory” with regard to cyberattacks, according to Sunnyvale, California-based cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike, a respected firm providing cyberattack response services, threat intelligence, and an annual Global Threat Report (paywall) on the state of web security. The world went through hell with Covid in 2020, but for web miscreants, the year was awesome as they preyed on our misery, pretending to offer information, and impersonating important global pandemic responders such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Malicious actors had a phishing field day in 2020 – which, naturally, works best when there an emotional connection. How many times have we heard of someone losing money to fraud after getting an email from a “friend in distress”?
Of course, it’s a good bet that CloudStrike’s 2022 report will list ’21 as the “most active year” since…well, the year before. Moore’s Law and all the fun math of exponentiality doesn’t only apply to things we enjoy such as Apple’s M1 processor, but also to the malware, cyberattacks, and security breaches that come with technological advances. Nearly every, if not every, electronic device that has an internet connection can be hacked; and can often be hacked when it’s either on or offline.
Many are switching to safe browsers such as Firefox Focus or Qustodio Free. Experts, however, are recommending adding even more layers of protection to your digital life by installing a safe browsing app that works with all the big browsers. Safe browsing apps – many of which are free to download – double-check that the site you’re visiting is legit, vet and scan apps and files in real-time, protect your Wi-Fi network, offer anti-phishing protection, and allow you to build a “blacklist” of sites you want blocked – keeping your kids safe from “adult content.” Using a safe browser app is proactive – stopping things before they happen, not catching them after the fact.
So-called “malicious actors” (simply put: bad guys) have and are stepping up their game. CloudStrike’s report noted that in 2020, there was a significant increase in extortion and blackmail techniques all nicely bundled into ransomware operations. The security firm warns that 2021 will likely see more of what it terms, “big game hunting” – e-criminals going after larger firms as the potential return is larger. Also of interest was a note on malicious actors forming alliances; working in tandem to level up and coordinate their attacks.
However, even if you don’t happen to be the CEO of a large corporation with data that would be worth ransoming, cybersecurity gurus are warning anyone with a computer to start realizing that “the good old days” of flying under the radar with half-baked security measures are gone for good – you might not even be the target but could end up being used by identity thieves to cause serious harm to a friend or acquaintance. You don’t need to be “someone” or even have valuable data to be targeted, and to think otherwise is to fundamentally misunderstand how wild the web of the 2020s has become. Think back to the last time a friend of yours told a tale of their account being hacked. Weren’t you somewhat surprised as they aren’t famous or rich? – When was the last time you gave serious thought to the safety of your personal data? If your company hired a “white hat” to stress test your firm’s web security, how well do you think it would hold up? The question ‘Is this website safe?’ is getting harder to answer.
Too many downplay the risks of a data breach. “Why would anyone want my ‘boring’ info?” people ask. Well, there are serious reasons such as identity theft, fraud, or phishing attempts, but there’s also a lot of money to made in collecting information. Harvesting data is big business. They’ll take info on everything from the language you use, your screen resolution, operating system, time zone, active plugins, browser type…you name it. By breaking down you – and the millions of others like you – into data points that can be categorized, you are now a target for precision missile advertising strikes. Being tracked keystroke by keystroke as you shop, bank, email, and enjoy online entertainment isn’t just creepy; it’s potentially dangerous. Predators prey on the weak. Why allow yourself to be a target?
There are some scary stats out there: 300,000 new pieces of malware are reportedly created every day. Cybercrime is more profitable than the illegal drug trade! Over 60 percent of businesses that get hacked say they aren’t sure they’ll ever fully recover. Anti-virus software or firewalls are as effective as a sieve, etc. It’s human nature to overestimate one’s web knowledge. Sure, you don’t click on links that look fishy and, heck, you might have even ponied up for a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN, however, only conceals your location, data-in-transit, and IP address. VPNs are not the fortresses we think they are, however. Via browser fingerprinting (look that term up if you’ve never heard of it) a leak that shows your online identity is still a possibility. You need multiple layers of protection, and you need them now. To paraphrase a famous quote, “You Might Be Paranoid, but that Doesn’t Mean Someone Isn’t Trying to Hack You.”
Moscow innovation ecosystem became prize-winner of Quality Innovation Award 2020
The Moscow Innovation Ecosystem program dedicated to testing innovative solutions became a prize-winner of the international Quality Innovation Award Forum in the Public Sector Innovations category.
The program lets designers test their technologies at the city and business sites. Over 50 draft solutions were tested in the course of the program existence.
The program makes it possible for designers to test their technologies at the city and business sites before being released to the market, and for the authorities and potential contractors — to analyze the effectiveness of those technologies.
‘The project makes it possible to study Russian and international practices in the field of smart cities and state management, analyze impact of different technologies on the quality of life in the city. Piloting of projects helps evaluate the practical use of new solutions for citizens,’ remarked Eduard Lysenko, Minister of the Moscow Government, Head of the Moscow Department of Information Technologies.
Among those tested projects are a self-driving taxi, a hand exoskeleton, a spatial reasoning system for persons with sight disability, VR-technologies in education, an application for museum visitors that allows uploading information about exhibits to a smartphone.
‘The jury of the competition underlined the unique conditions that Moscow created for the authors of high-tech solutions. The prize-winner program gives designers a chance to test the viability of their solutions and get comprehensive feedback from the target audience. Last year, we got over 600 requests from entrepreneurs for testing various products,’ Natalya Sergunina, Deputy Mayor of Moscow said.
The framework of the program lets the dedicated specialists choose the most promising and urgent projects. Once the project is chosen, a testing site shall be determined.
‘Thanks to the Moscow innovation ecosystem, the capital of Russia is one of the most active cities in terms of innovations that undergo testing. Today, over 100 state and business sites participate in the program. Banks, retail chains, communication services providers, production enterprises, medical institutions, high schools, IT corporations and other companies are among them,’ added Alexey Fursin, Head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development.
While testing, the designers get the expert support, access to the infrastructure in order to test the solution practically with many potential users and recommendations for adapting the product for certain clients.
The Quality Innovation Award has been held since 2007 by Finnish Association for Quality in cooperation with partner companies from Russia, China, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and other countries. Over 400 innovations were submitted for awarding in 2020, 25 of them were prized.
The Moscow Agency of Innovations is the operator of the pilot innovation testing program. It unites representatives of the authorities and business society with technological companies so that they could jointly create, testing implement innovative solutions.
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