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Big Data Expert Akmal Chaudhri Warns Of The Perils Of Poor Protection


Big Community had the pleasure of interviewing Akmal Chaudhri, Big Data Expert and Independent Consultant during the Big Indonesia event held on the 23rd of March 2017 in Jakarta. Akmal was an invited speaker to the event which was organised by Big Community for the Big Data Week Jakarta flagship event, held at the Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel that packed over 1,200 participants during the one day program.

As a Big Data Expert, we thought Akmal would be the best person to make an informed decision on the access and limits that should be placed on AI and autonomous intelligence that may be exposed to ransomware and malware, as it seems that this technology is all a-buzz with Natural Language Processing and learning capabilities disrupting industries worldwide.

“There is in fact too much information that is readily available today. Over the last few months, a popular product was exposed on the internet and lost over 100 terabytes of data. Partly due to using old products that doesn’t have the updated protection and partly due to ignorance of the user itself, exposing themselves to the internet without the proper configuration,” he shares.

The stolen data includes detailed personal information such as addresses and phone numbers as well as confidential information which has now become the property of hackers to use as they will.

“We really do need to think about having protocols and features in place to prevent these types of exposures and threats. We will never be able to guarantee 100% security from hackers because as human beings we make mistakes in software programming that will be taken advantage off.”

Akmal says he shares Stephen Hawkings beliefs about how the unbridled development of AI could spell the end of the human race as we know it and fears of AI surpassing human capabilities.

“He has a good view on AI and he believes we need to be worried,” says Akmal of Hawking’s thoughts. “AI grows exponentially and once the AI learns, it will do so at a much faster rate than what humans can do and it may come to a point where it will pose a danger to us as well.”

A prevention plan of action needs to supersede the development of AI so as to keep control of how information is used and what it is used for.

“If we build in better security and better protocols, design better systems to thwart vandals and hackers, to help protect all this vital information, then I believe our fears can be put to rest. As of now, we should be worried and do more in terms of protecting our data. We are not making sufficient efforts today to protect the information that we blindly put out there. Especially now that we are all connected in some way or other, encryption methods need to be inculcated into the communication system.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and chief executive of the roket-maker, Space X, also gives a stern warning that AI is the biggest threat to the human existence to date.

Laws currently running in Europe, make it necessary for organisations to control the data. The European Union and the United States have an agreement on the transfer of data. There are protection protocols put in place to protect its citizens. This sets a boundary for American companies as to what they have access to and how they may use the data that is sourced from the EU countries.

“These types of boundaries are a good thing, but I believe the law itself is not enough. Technology must step up and do better in protecting its users and I believe that’s the key element here.”

Quite clearly the early warnings have already been put forward, and the developers in the space need to heed these early warnings if we are to keep AI development within permitted boundaries. At the moment, AI isn’t developed enough to know right from wrong. Humans still decide that. The day will come when that decision is left in the hands of an AI and it may mean the difference between life and death.