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AI and cyber security at Vetenskapens hus

Electric scooters and pavement with sharp shadows.
Published Mar 29, 2021

Vetenskapens hus wants to inspire high school students to choose higher education in science, technology and mathematics. They have therefore invited a number of researchers from KTH and Stockholm University, to speak about their research. We have talked to two of the invited lecturers: Hedvig Kjellström, Professor at Robotics, Perception & Learning, and Robert Lagerström, Associated Professor at Networking and Systems Engineering.

Hi Hedvig Kjellström! In April, you will be lecturing on AI at Vetenskapens hus, can you tell us a little about what your lecture will be about?

“It will be about cooperation between AI agents and people. One question I will try to answer is what to aim for when developing AI, and how it can best help people solve tasks in a better way: ‘What are we humans best at – and what can an artificial agent do better?’”

How come you lecture to high school students, why do you think it's important?

“I think it is important to discuss this relevant and exciting topic, AI, with young people who provide new perspectives! In addition, I want to inspire them by showing that AI is not just about engineering and programming, but is a very broad and multidimensional subject related to psychology, philosophy and communication.”

Hi Robert Lagerström! You will lecture on cybersecurity, how do you adapt the lecture to the target group – can they relate to the topic?

“I will use examples that they can relate to e.g. that Sony Play Station and electric scooters have been hacked. But I also talk about major attacks that affect society e.g. electricity companies and hospitals that have been subjected to attacks. Many have heard of various attacks, but do not understand why it is so difficult to protect themselves. I will explain with pedagogical examples how it comes about that IT systems are so complex that they become difficult for individuals to survey, which can lead to hackers being able to exploit weaknesses. I hope that after my lecture they have a better understanding of cyber security and why it is important for both the individual and society at large.”

Why do you think it's important to talk to high school students?

“One reason is to show what we do at KTH to attract them to apply to our programs. I hope that they think that what I am researching is cool and that there is an exciting future profession in the subject I am lecturing on. The second is to help them think of simple solutions they can use themselves to become a little more confident in their use of IT. For example, how to think about choosing a password and what information they share online.”