Priority sectors need advanced cyber security options: AI expert
November 22 2019 09:54 PM
Max Tegmark giving the talk.
Max Tegmark giving the talk.

Qatar should apply the most advanced cyber security programme in its highest priority sectors, an expert in Artificial intelligence (AI) has suggested.
“Cyber security is something that Qatar is prioritising. You should keep doing that and be really ambitious because there could be better modes of cyber security than a lot of experts think,” noted Max Tegmark, co-founder, Future of Life Institute and a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Tegmark , in Doha to attend the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) 2019, was speaking on the topic ‘Intelligible Intelligence’ at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khailfa University.
At the talk, jointly organised by WISE and QCRI, Tegmark highlighted AI’s current ‘hype versus hope’ and the possibilities it offers.
“At this point of time, AI is really here to stay for sometime. The prime thing about AI is that people are actually making money on it,” he highlighted.
“Cyber security is a major aspect that AI is connected with. As for Qatar, there might be people who would be very much interested in hacking various aspects of what is happening in the country. It is expensive to have the best of the cyber security systems and therefore the country should set up the priority areas for the most advanced cyber security,” he advised.
“It is not necessary to have the most advanced systems for everything. Many want spying and there could be attacks from every corner. Identify the systems that really don’t want to be hacked. For those, go all out with safe operating systems air gapped from the rest of the world,” he explained. Air gap networks are physically and logically isolated from other networks.
“In terms of AI related jobs, Qatar has the real opportunity just like most other countries. AI can make jobs better and cheaper than in the prevailing situations. Since Qatar’s major revenue is from oil and gas, it could be applied in those areas primarily,” noted the AI expert.
Tegmark pointed out that data is the most valuable input in modern era as it is the basis on which systems are worked out. However, he maintained that what is given by nature is more energy efficient than AI or technology enabled machines. He compared the example of a remote controlled airplane and a flying bird.
“When you consider the energy used by a remote controlled airplane to fly ten kilometres and if you take the case of a bird of the same size, the bird takes only ten times lesser energy than the airplane. At the same time, the bird uses much more complicated and much smarter way of flying. It is the same for intelligence. What nature has done, is far more energy efficient and superior,” he added.

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