When it comes to artificial intelligence, everyone is currently talking about ChatGPT. But AI encompasses many other areas with enormous opportunities. We must succeed in making the processes robust in order to be able to use them. Artificial intelligence either searches for clear patterns, or tries to find answers to questions through targeted learning of a system. It includes everything that works according to the following scheme: Question is input, processed in a black box, and an answer is spit out. The results range from automatic translations and image recognition to assisted driving. As with all achievements, however, there are limits and challenges to AI. While in certain areas, AI surpasses human capabilities, in others it is relatively helpless: for example, it fails to distinguish pictures of chocolate muffins from Chihuahua photos – the dog’s black eyes and nose correspond to the chocolate pieces and the brown fur to dough. There are also more dramatic limitations, as the AI spits out what people feed it, sometimes reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices. Example: Currently, the majority of photos of CEOs circulating on the Internet are white, older men. A pattern that the AI recognizes quickly and easily. Conclusion of the program: CEOs are white men of higher age. A conclusion that is obviously wrong. Artificial intelligence can be manipulated by simple means. This weakness can be exploited with targeted attacks, and perhaps tomorrow criminals will attack algorithms just as they steal data and extort companies today. We must therefore succeed through research in increasing the protection of AI systems and enable companies to detect attacks on them, avert them and restore the AI.
The dream of the metaverse is to live in the digital world and perceive everything as we do in the real world. To the point that we can no longer distinguish whether we are in the real or virtual world. We can create our avatar according to our wishes and dive into new spheres. Buying real estate, having parties, trying on clothes – there are no limits to the digital imagination in the Metaverse. But where new worlds and interactions emerge, there is always a need for new frameworks, rules and regulations to protect the people who act in this space. How do we protect people from bullying in the Metaverse? When products and services are bought and sold in the metaverse, who makes sure there is no theft and fraud? Basically, how are crimes punished in the Metaverse and who is responsible for what? The new world of the Metaverse also brings with it many questions. In addition, there is currently not only one metaverse, but several metaverses, and only the future will show which one of them and whether one will prevail at all.
Quantum computing is a new technology that enables massively faster computing power. “Imagine you want to arrange 100 spaghetti of different lengths, by size. To do this, they have to pick out one spaghetti at a time and put them side by side. With quantum computing, this process is omitted and the arrangement happens in one fell swoop! Figuratively speaking, a quantum computer grabs the bundle of pasta and simultaneously pushes it onto the table with one end. Immediately, all the spaghetti is sorted lengthwise,” explains Zumbühl to illustrate the impact of this new technology. This has advantages because, for example, it can be used to create random generators – which is relatively difficult today, then the current random generators, on closer inspection, usually do contain a pattern. Another opportunity of quantum computing is the encryption over distance – from one part you can infer to another part further away. Even if the underlying phenomena border on magic, we can already make use of this property. However, the new technology also poses risks, especially in terms of cybersecurity: Current encryption can be quickly cracked with quantum computing. That means many of the current security measures will have to be rethought. “When quantum computing comes on the market – I assume that’s in five to ten years – then current security measures will be obsolete,” says Zumbühl. That’s why scientists are currently working on new security measures using new mathematical methods. Companies should also have this on their radar.
Participatory security is about forming communities and partnerships that work together to provide greater security. A good example is working with so-called “ethical hackers.” That is, hackers who do no harm but help identify and close security gaps. The Swiss Post’s “Bug Bounty” project is also based on this concept. Bug Bounty uses the collective intelligence of the global community of security experts to continuously improve information security. The project asks people to report security vulnerabilities to Swiss Post. In return for vulnerabilities found, people receive financial compensation of up to CHF 10,000 – a new, innovative way to keep security up to date.
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