Tag Archives: technology

Bilderberg Meeting 2015 – AI and Cyber-Security

From the 11th June until the 14th June, the Bilderberg Meeting 2015 takes place in Austria. This annual private meeting brings together people from government, from business, from academia and from think-tanks to talk about topical issues around the world. I’ve not had an invite this year, but I’d certainly be willing to attend some time if an invite did come through.

This years Bilderberg Meeting is particularly interesting to me as two of the topics are quite close to my heart. That is:

  • Artificial Intelligence, and,
  • Cyber-security

Many of my readers will know that my current PhD research, at the University of Bristol Intelligent Systems Laboratory, involves the application of data-mining and knowledge-engineering (both forms of Artificial Intelligence) to security, co-funded by British Telecom (BT) and the EPSRC.
Plus, in August 2015 I’ll be starting a Senior Research Assistant position at the University of South Wales, in their Information Security Lab, to begin research/consultancy/teaching in intelligent cyber-security of knowledge-bases.
Not forgetting my pre-PhD industry background in knowledge bases (inc. Semantic Web, Linked Data and Open Data), and also my founding of and continuing involvement in the Computational Intelligence Unconferences.

However, I wanted to highlight the who’s-who in AI and Cyber-Sec at this years Bilderberg Meeting:

  • Zoë Baird, CEO and President of Markle. A consultant in the realms of cyber-security and healthcare. In my opinion she would a great candidate for the Computational Intelligence Unconference.
  • Franco Bernebè. He has a lot of interest in ICT, Telecoms and also renewable energy. No doubt that Franco will have an interest in hearing the latest details of Artificial Intelligence and Cyber-security, and would probably be able to give some valuable insight to the unfortunately-closed-door Bilderberg Meeting.
  • Patrick Calvar, French Internal Security, seems to have an interest in surveillance. He’ll have his own experience in surveillance, both online and offline.
  • Ann Dowling. Although she is not involved in artificial intelligence or cybersecurity (she is in mechanical engineering), she is the current head of the Royal Academy of Engineering here in the United Kingdom – which has an interest in both AI and cyber-sec.
  • Regina Dugan, Vice President for Engineering, Advanced Technology and Projects at Google. Not much to say about this, other than she work with Ray Kurzweil at Google. Google are well-known for being researchers and developers of advanced robotics, advanced data mining techniques and all kinds of other things, including our next entry who is also at the Bilderberg meeting this year…
  • Demis Hassabis, a strong researcher in all things relating to strong AI, connectionist AI (including “deep mining”) and neuro-science. He started DeepMind which was acquired by Google last year. He’ll certainly be able to provide an academic perspective to the meeting.
  • Wolfgang Hesoun, CEO of Seimens Austria. Seimens has a keen interest in Cyber-security, and also (although slightly less so) artificial intelligence.
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and entrepreneur in the IT industry. LinkedIn has an interest in data mining and data storage, and I am sure that Reid will be able to provide interesting insight from a business-social-media perspective on both AI and cyber-sec. He actually started his career in user-experience architecture, so I imagine that he has the technology knowledge to back-up his business head. Back in the day he was also involved with PayPal, and more recently is a “Board Observer” of a bitcoin technology company, which will obviously have cyber-security interests.
  • Wolfgang Ischinger is the chair of the Munich Security Conference, and a German Diplomat involved in Security of all forms. There is a Cyber-security activities section of the Munich Security Conference, assisting with a Cyber Security Summits.
  • Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir. Palantir are heavily involved in both artificial intelligence and cyber-security, they do a lot of contract work with both the private and public sectors. Interestingly Alex’s PhD was in “neoclassical social theory”
  • Konrad Kogler, Director General of Public Security in Austria. Coming from a policing background Konrad probably won’t be too “hot” on cyber technologies, but he’ll have a general interest in it, and it would be interesting to hear how the police fit in with certain aspects.
  • André Kudelski, Chair/CEO of the Kudelski group which is involved in digital TV, in physical-access systems and in cyber-security. André has a background in R&D and Engineering, so I suspect he’ll know his technology.
  • General Jim Mattis, Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. Has a strong interest in all things security, and the experience to boot. Goodness knows if he has any experience of cyber-defence, but I’m sure he’ll have an opinion on it. Also note that he is at Stanford University, which is very well known for its computer science (including artificial intelligence) – does he have any insight into other projects at Stanford?
  • Pierre Maudet, “Vice-President of the State Council, Department of Security, Police and the Economy of Geneva”, he is a social liberal (but an economic conservative) and also a member of a Ecology/Green think-tank. He is one of the council members in charge of security for Switzerland, which is well known as being one of the most secure countries on the planet. It would be interesting to hear what he has to say.
  • Jim Messina of The Messina Group. The Messina Group pride themselves at being “data-driven strategists”. They worked on the Barack Obama campaigns, and they’ve recently crossed the political spectrum and the ocean to work with the Conservative Party here in the United Kingdom. They do a lot of data analysis, and so I am sure that Jim will be able to provide some insight into how data can be shaped-by, and shape, society.
  • Peter Thiel,  co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin and the very famous Elon Musk. Co-founded Palantir (of which Alex Karp will also be in attendance at the Bilderberg meeting). He funds various businesses, social ventures, philanthropic adventures and interesting research. He has funded much work on Artificial Intelligence via the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI). Economically he is libertarian, but he seems to be somewhat socially liberal, and in general seems to be quite a nice person from what I can tell, and what I have heard from my friends and contacts who have met him. He is also involved in things such as longevity research, technological singularity and human sustainability.

These are just some of the many Participants to the Bilderberg Meeting of 2015. It is a shame that the result of the meeting is not public, as it would be very very interesting to see what was discussed and what opinions these humans take. Perhaps someday I’ll be invited and will find out for myself, but even if that happened I would probably be sworn to secrecy. I guess at the moment we can only speculate, and see what happens over the next few months and years.

I would, however, like to invite those listed above, or those involved in various companies I have listed, or anybody else interested to come along to the Computational Intelligence Unconference UK 2015 (CIUUK15). We are looking for attendees, for speakers and for sponsors. Any way that you can help will be appreciated, just contact me. CIUUK15 will happen at Kings College London on the 15th August 2015. Perhaps we can have our own Bilderberg-style meeting at the unconference, just a bit more open. We certainly have people attending who are at the cutting-edge of their fields, along with people in academia, in business and in the public sector.

Daniel Lewis
* My Computational Intelligence Unconference Email Address: daniel <<at>> ciunconference <<dot>> org

Thoughts on… What will happen in 2015?

At this time of year, like many people, I tend to reflect on what has happened in the previous year, and what this year will bring. In the past I’ve blogged about my thoughts on what we might see as a community in the year ahead. Stay with me, as my (for want of a better word) “predictions,” tend to be a little different from the usual crystal ball blog posts out there on the web. Primarily because of my interests aren’t just in tech or science.

First of all, I want to say that this year is going to be a big one for me. I’ll be reaching 3 decades of age in the middle of the year. Beki and I will have been married 5 years this coming August. I’m also plan to fully complete my PhD in Artificial Intelligence & Data Mining (or more officially ” Engineering Mathematics (Intelligent Systems)”), and hope to have secured a postdoctoral position by the end of this year (please do let me know if you’re interested in employing me or working with me!). I’ll also progress from Journeyman to Freeman status in the City of London Livery “the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.” We’ll also be running the second Computational Intelligence Unconference (CIUUK15), and I hope to start planning other unconferences in 2016. Finally, I’m also hoping to progress from Deacon to Priest in my very liberal (and Science-friendly!) independent church.

Enough about me though, on to the societal forecast…

Politics in 2015!

In the United Kingdom, over the past couple of years, we’ve rather unfortunately seen a rise in ring-wing politics in the form of the political party known as UKIP. This is largely due to distrust amongst the population of the main three political parties here (the Conservatives (“Tories”), the Liberal Democrats (“LibDems”) and the Labour Party), why is there distrust? Well we had two terms of a Labour office, which saw terrorism spread, wars occur, prices of oil and housing rise, and the destruction of main party socialism (i.e. the Labour Party slowly became less and less socialist). We then, in 2010, had an election result leading to a hung parliament, the Centre-Right Tories joined forces with the Centre-Left Radical LibDems. The result of that has been more things getting privatised, the excessive rise of university tuition fees, oil prices rising gradually (although more recently falling), various things being taxed, and various other things not being taxed, it has also destroyed the publics belief that the LibDems are leftward leaning at all. People in the UK are searching for another option. Many people, unfortunately, like to blame other people, and blame is what UKIP do best (they are a traditionalist and nationalist political party with a neoliberal economic perspective). So the right-wing UKIP has seen a rise in interest. This is bad news. However, we’ve also seen a rise in support for the Green Party (which is centre-left/left-wing), as well as the SNP in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales (which are both centre-left), so perhaps not all is bad.

What does this have to do with 2015? Well it is General Election year here in the UK, where the population will go to the polls in May and vote for a new parliament. So here is my prediction…

Distrust in the three main political parties will continue to rise. This means that more people will begin to move away from what the three main political parties see as the “centre of politics”, to political ideologies at the extremities. As 2014 saw a significant rise in nationalist neoliberalist agenda of UKIP.  This year, 2015, there will be more hardcore socialists and communists coming to light. However, in order to combat the right wing, they will have to empathise. This empathy will come in the form of anti-authoritarianism and anti-statism, yes, we’ll start to see a rise in ideologies of anarcho-socialism, libertarian socialism, Trotskyism and anything that combines decentralisation with strong communal welfare. We just have to look at Spain and Green to see their rise in radical socialism (in the form of Podemos and Syriza respectively).

This might be slow, and it may not make a significant impact on the general election, but I suspect that by the end of the year it will be making more impact.

Politics and Technology

I would like to couple this with technology though, as something big is happening behind the scenes. This big thing originates from technology is now reaching every part of our lives, and actually making us live healthier and more sociable lives. It can be used as a force for good, and I think that gone are the times when people think tech is bad simply based on a perception of the masses watching television for endless amounts of hours. You just have to look at the CES 2015 exhibition happening at the moment, to see some wonderful things (including for sustainability of the natural environment! – e.g. the electric scooter “Gogoro” will attempt to make low pollution travel in urban areas). With this is a sense that technology really can help the welfare of humanity, this is good (because I believe it can!).

Coupled with this individualism (in otherwords libertarian) perspective living in a communal welfare system (in otherwords socialist), that I think is going to be on the rise, we will see technology fitting in very nicely indeed.

A few of organisations to look out for are:

There is one word to look out for, and this is a very positive word… techno-progressivism.

 

Technologies and Sciences

  • This year I think we will see very significant progress in terms of preventative medicine for cancer. I think this will at first involve analysing our bodies cheaply and easily before we have cancer. So that we can try to stop it in its tracks before we it even develops its early stages. I think this is likely to involve DNA and/or RNA analysis on a large scale.
  • Public and private organisations will shift from just green living, and especially from “greenwashing”, perspectives into a bright green evironmentalist perspective. With particular advances in bright green architecture, but obviously we’ve already seen advances in “smart lighting” and “smart heating,” and that will continue to see uptake by organisations as well as individuals.
  • The rise of privately-funded space project. Not just SpaceX, and other private organisations, but also home-builds. Think home-made quadcopter drones that can easily fly very high, maybe into space ;-)
  • At least one significant and highly publicised study on the positive results of meditation will be released. It would be great if this was related to the relation between meditation and the length of telomeres, which apparently there have been a few studies on already.
  • “Smart clothing” – I think we’ll start to see wearable technology on clothes in retail shops that you see on the high-street. Prices will be quite high at first, and totally unrepresentative to the cost it would be to make it at home, but it’ll begin to reach the masses.
  • There might be a co-operation between bitcoins (or another cryptocurrency) and credit unions. Which would be very neat!
  • I don’t think that computers will see superintelligence this year, but artificial intelligence tools and techniques will continue to be updated and improved… possibly with a bit more effort, and possibly making them a lot more polished.

 

These are just some thoughts. They are based on some insight, but it is all just for fun really, and I don’t in any way guarantee these things happening. Feel free to comment, or to get in touch directly.

Thank you for reading.

Daniel