Gary Kasparov and Ondrej Vicek DTX 2019 Interview
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:13] Welcome back to day two of the Digital Transformation Expo. I’m Natalie Turner with Disruptive Live. And today, I am joined by two very interesting gentlemen. Thank you so much for joining us. We have Andre, Vicek, who is the CEO of Avast and you are the security ambassador of avast as well. Garry Kasparov. But not only that, you are a grand chess master, the best chess player of all time, in my opinion. You’re a writer, political activist. You have done so many things. I mean, where where do we start?
GARRY KASPAROV [00:00:48] Since I left professional chess in 2005 I concentrated on other things human rights, political activism and human machine collaboration, eventually cybersecurity I’ve been working for the last for the last three years. And of course now is AI and it it’s I speak almost every week before different audiences. And it’s I think is very important for us to actually talk about AI and about the future, by treating it as a tomb. It’s not a magic wand, but it’s not the Terminator. It’s not a harbinger of utopian dystopia. We should stop using religious terms. There’s no salvation or damnation. It’s not a road to heaven. But not it’s not about opening gates of hell. And it’s we have to cut through these thick fog of mythology that the surrounding AI and I am just trying to open the normal debate that is not infiltrated by the Hollywood brainwashing images.
NATALIE TURNER [00:01:49] Fantastic, great answer. So we will definitely come back to AI, but Ondrej You have only been the CEO for three months. That’s a big role to take on. How’s it going?
ONDREJ VICEK [00:01:57] So far? So good. It’s going great. I have been a 1 company guy first started the last nineteen ninety five, 24 years ago. You’re going to see it growing from very, very small local start up we call it that way to a multinational corporation now publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. So it’s been quite a ride. Exciting times for me for sure. And for the company and for the space of general as the importance of cybersecurity grows. Of course, 30 years ago, when this company was started, no one knew where It would take us.
NATALIE TURNER [00:02:34] Fantastic. So going back to AI, Garry, you played the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, so that was quite some time back.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:02:41] 22 years ago.
NATALIE TURNER [00:02:43] 22 years ago. I mean, when you were presented with that challenge, did you have any hesitations at all?
GARRY KASPAROV [00:02:48] No, I didn’t. I thought that human growth machine could be a big challenge scientifically. And also it will have social implications. And I have to say that we played with human chess players. We played machines from late 80s, early 90s. They were not as powerful. But still, you know, we experienced problems. And I would not you know, treat Dab Lew as as the harbinger of AI because it wasn’t intelligent. It didn’t have to be intelligent. At the end of the day, it’s all machines have to achieve is just to play at the level when they make fewer mistakes than humans. And Dab Lew was all powerful. It could make 200 million positions per second, if not back in 1997. But today, if you have a free chess app on your mobile device, it’s most likely stronger than Dab Lew. Thanks for Lemurs Law and new algorithms and and the chess engines that you can buy online and download on your laptop. They are so much more powerful than Dab Lew and they will crush any chess player today with just, you know, with even just with probably 50 percent of their capacity.
NATALIE TURNER [00:03:59] It’s crazy how it was 22 years ago that you played against this computer and it somehow led you here today. So I’d love to know more about your talk and You know what input you have in artificial intelligence and the discovery of cyber security as well?
GARRY KASPAROV [00:04:16] Yeah. It’s what brought me here and it is and it’s actually, you know, helped me to establish relations was the last is that I always believed, you know, that it’s it’s not about human ghost machine. We should now look for collaboration. It’s human blast machine. So that’s why I always, you know, recommend to use augmented, not artificial augmented intelligence, because AI augments our minds the same way as telescope augmented our site. And and it’s it’s also very much a philosophy of us. There’s always a human at the end of this of this chain. And while, you know, we would in many cases would belong of the last few decimal places, because machines can do 95 percent of the war, there’s still, you know, an indispensable human input. And it’s very important for us to understand how we we move into the future by, you know, by enhancing this is this collaboration and getting the best out of it.
ONDREJ VICEK [00:05:11] And for cybersecurity AI today is like super important subject for two reasons. One is that we are seeing increasingly more and more attacks really driven by AI on the offensive side and you have to really answer by AI on the defensive side, so it’s more like a war of the machines. But on the flip side, also, the good AI the stuff that is being sort of, you know, innovated on like image processing may well be the language stuff and all that kind of things are vulnerable because ultimately it’s a machine that is, you know, the machine learning, deep learning, all that kind of technologies are can be subjected to attacks. And so it’s still humans on the other side, bad actors who are trying to somehow infiltrate or manipulate those data sets. But it requires a higher level of security. And so for us, on one hand, we see AI as a sort of great tool to help cybersecurity to provide more defence and better protection against attacks. And the flip side, we see AI as being vulnerable on its own because of, you know, issues like data manipulation and data infiltration. And so these two things are both, you know, subject that I’ve asked is very concerned about the very active threat.
NATALIE TURNER [00:06:31] Fantastic. So moving more onto your blog, you speak out about artificial intelligence. You said AI never forgets. But we need to teach it how to forgive. Particularly in regards to privacy and safeguarding children. Do you think this is an exciting time to be growing up in the digital age, or do you think a lot of consequences come with that?
GARRY KASPAROV [00:06:54] The answer is yes, there will be a lot of consequences because nothing happens without the cost. I think it’s just we we used to receive so many great things from Internet, from new technologies, almost for free or for free. And we missed a moment where we we we. We have been paying for that by a new form of currency, which is our data. It’s it’s a new world where data is a new currency. And I think it sits in general with all the complaints, public accepts this fact. So convenience these days tops concerns. And there’s very little, you know, demand for politicians to move against big corporations collecting data. There will people know that there could be downsides. But again, so far the trade offs know from the public point of view, just it’s it’s okay. It’s fine. We can live. It was that. But it doesn’t mean that we should stop, you know, supervising the these data collection. And while, you know, we can do very little about, you know, KGB or Chinese intelligence or security forces in non-democratic countries collecting data, but we can do more in the free world by forcing corporations, mega corporations, multi national corporations to follow the certain set the rules, including cutting ties with the countries where this technology has been used to harm people directly.
ONDREJ VICEK [00:08:22] And to various point. Of course, things like GDP are set some rules in terms of how. It should be possible for individuals to the right to be forgotten and things like that. The flip side, we at Avast, we also believe that people should have more controls personally over how their data is, how it is manipulated. And so when we we do provide products and solutions that help individuals as well as corporations to control. Just better. Better protection about their data, and it’s not necessarily just a kind of hardcore cybersecurity thing. It’s also like privacy in terms of protection of being tracked by corporations, governments and things like that.
NATALIE TURNER [00:09:10] So, ten years from now, where do you see Avast going in regards to like artificial intelligence and cyber security? What’s the future looking like?
ONDREJ VICEK [00:09:17] Well, the big, big theme that we are seeing today in terms of cybersecurity is Internet of things or IOT. So the reality is that even today, the majority of devices that are connected to the Internet are actually not computers and not mobile phones. They are these other things. All these cameras, all these toys, home appliances, cars, whatever. And that trend is only going to continue like in couple of years. Based on her gartner data, the almost 90 percent of all devices connected to the Internet will be the non-traditional devices. And that creates like a huge change in the ecosystem and huge underpinning for some new generation of cyberattacks, because the firing power of these devices, if they are somehow combined in a bottom left or some kind of other form, it’s really legal. And to add to that many of these devices, as we see them today, as they are entering the market, are sort of broken when it comes to security. They’re just not very good. And there is no power here today that would force the vendors that are throwing those devices to the market to fix it. That is, there is no regulation. There is no sort of incentive financially. And there is also no demand, quite frankly, from the customer side. That is, there is low awareness of the problem. It’s a problem as well, because it’s just, you know, nothing will happen. There’s no momentum to fix it. And so I think it’ll all require a sort of effort, a combination of kind of the vendors themselves getting their act together. The regulator is kind of stepping in as well as the security industry working together to solve this problem and will take some years to overcome.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:10:58] I’ve no doubt that your audience enjoys smart homes in big numbers, so it’s the advanced tech audience and smart homes are growing in popularity and they’re more and more devices connected. And people should just remember that the resilience of the whole system depends on the weakest on the weakest device. And all these coffee machines are washing machines. They they are connected to the Internet with the devices that were not certified and and all these vendors that had maybe decades, if not, you know, hundreds of years of experience of building these appliances. So they never they never specialised on online protection. And and that’s that creates a massive, massive problem, because, again, one weak device and the entire system is exposed to potential hyper.
NATALIE TURNER [00:11:53] Fantastic, thank you Garry, I have a question about you in particular, just your history, if that’s okay. You know, you’ve played chess playing chess has actually led you to all sorts of different routes. Political activist. Won’t go into that, technology.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:12:10] Playing chess. Look, I always tell. I always tell people that the the aptitude for playing chess is nothing else than aptitude for play chess. Period. So this is what happens with a chess player out of the chess board. It’s not necessarily related to to to to chess, but rather to his or her character.
NATALIE TURNER [00:12:30] But you were the best in the world, you’ve managed to go down all these different routes and you’ve been successful in every position you’ve been in.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:12:35] Yes, but I had other interests in my life. And as I I would say that my life is more like an exception. And because I thought that from early days that chess would not be everything for the for the rest of my life. So I always thought about all the alternatives and ways to sort of apply my analytical skills and my social energy. So and that’s why even when I when I was active for the chess player being number one, since 1985 to 2005 from number one on rating list. So I always looked for for other avenues. And since I left professional chess, I managed to build my new life, you know, and it says thanks to my my wife will help me do actually to regroup. And now it’s the many things that I am doing now. They are they’re chess connected. And I can I cannot deny that chess glory helps. But still, it’s a different life or chess plays a modest role. No, I’m still active in promoting the game of chess playing exhibition like I play exhibition here and in about 30 minutes. But it’s not you know, it’s not just, you know, chess dominated. It’s just it’s a life that is full of many other things.
NATALIE TURNER [00:13:50] But It’s opened you up to new opportunities for sure.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:13:54] The motto of my life in from early days thanks to my mother was, you know, it’s not just about winning, but it’s about making the difference. And as long as you can get engaged and make the difference. So it’s worth playing the game, whether it’s chess or anything else.
NATALIE TURNER [00:14:08] So what’s next on the horizon for you personally and Avast?
ONDREJ VICEK [00:14:12] I mean, like maybe we should have said also why Avast chose to work with Garry, because it’s really important. It’s not only that man versus machine sort of angle and you know, that whole AI angle that we are talking about here. But also, I mean, Garry is a huge, huge personality in the area of human rights. And that’s something that’s very close to the Avast heart. And I mean, it’s it’s something that we are very much you know, we are all in the company standing behind. And so that connection, I think, is very, very, very key in that relationship.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:14:50] We’ve always said it works both ways because I also feel comfortable with our views about protecting individual rights and about human rights. It’s. Not many corporations in the world today that have such an impeccable record in caring about fundamental human human rights. And it’s these there’s that many more challenges in the world. And I just hope that, you know, my energy, my experience, my analytical skills can be can be used to sort of to help people to understand, you know, so the nature of these challenges. And again, it’s all about making the difference. And I’m you know, I am looking the future with optimism, maybe because I’m incorrigible optimist by nature. But I also try to make people, you know, make people more cheerful about the future. I think it’s we are now facing some sort of apathy about about the outcomes, future outcomes. People just, you know, look, in the future was was fear and anxiety rather than optimism and great expectations. So I think it’s this optimism never helps.
NATALIE TURNER [00:15:59] Fantastic, so I hear through the grapevine that you’re going to be playing a couple, 15 people, I think you said earlier.
GARRY KASPAROV [00:16:05] As we always do it you know so we’ve discovered by doing these conferences for last three years that there’s so many chess aficionados among these tech geeks. And so that’s why I just did it takes an hour or just, you know, 75 minutes, but it makes them so happy. So that’s why we always suggest to the organisers to have a little jazz exhibition.
NATALIE TURNER [00:16:27] I was going to say they’re probably feeling, I don’t know, maybe not optimistic if they’re going up against you. If there was any advice that you could give, what would it be?
GARRY KASPAROV [00:16:36] Enjoy the game.
NATALIE TURNER [00:16:38] Stay Safe. Well look thank you so much, gentlemen. Its been an absolute pleasure to speak with you. Thank you. Coming on, Disruptive Live. Thank you so much.
NATALIE TURNER [00:16:49] That is all from us for now. However, you can get involved in the conversations on Linkedin and Twitter, just join us on Disruptive Live hashtag DTX Europe of course, but we will be back after lunch. So please don’t go away.