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IEEE UK and Ireland Section Annual Christmas Lecture 2020 (online)

IEEE UK and Ireland Section is pleased to invite you to its traditional Annual Christmas Lecture. This year it will be an online event and the Section is honoured to have Dr. Marc A. Zissman and Dr. Konstantinos Karachalios as keynote speakers and 2020 IEEE President-Elect Kathy Land with the opening address.

Time Presentation Presenter
14.45-15.00 Technical Check IEEE Staff
15.00-15.05 Welcome Note Dr Mona Ghassemian (Chair IEEE UK and Ireland Section)
15.05-15.15 Opening Address 2020 IEEE President-Elect Kathy Land
15.15-16.00 *PACT – Private Automated Contact Tracing for COVID-19 Dr Marc Zissman (Assoc Head, Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory)
16.00-16.30 **Advancing Ethical Aspects in Technology: IEEE’s Walking the Talk. Konstantinos Karachalios (Managing Director, IEEE-Standards Association)
16.30-16.45 Closing Note and Xmas Celebration Prof Izzet Kale (Vice-Chair, IEEE UK and Ireland Section)

*Q&A to be moderated by Prof Mike Hinchey (past chair)
**Q&A to be moderated by Prof Ali Hessami (past-past chair)

There is the opportunity to submit a question to any of the speakers before the event by using the form at the bottom of the page.

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Opening Address by 2020 IEEE President-Elect Kathy Land

About the Speaker

Ms. Land is IEEE President-Elect, an IEEE Fellow. She has more than 30 years of industry experience in the application of software engineering methodologies, the management of information systems, and leadership of software development teams. She is the author or co-author of a number of texts, papers, webinars all supporting sound software engineering principles and practical application of software process methodologies.

Ms. Land has a long-standing history of service within IEEE. She has served three terms on the IEEE Board of Directors, as the 2018 Vice President of IEEE Technical Activities, as a member of the IEEE-USA Board of Directors (2013, 2016), a member of Region 3 Executive Committee (2016, 2017) and President of the IEEE Computer Society in 2009.

For additional information: www.susankathyland.com

Lecture 1 – PACT – Private Automated Contact Tracing for COVID-19 by Dr Marc Zissman (MIT)

PACT is a collaboration led by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. It includes close collaborators from many other public and private research and development centers and is a partnership among cryptographers, physicians, privacy experts, scientists and engineers. Our mission is to maximise the utility of exposure detection functions in personal digital communication devices such that they can enhance and augment existing contact tracing strategies while preserving privacy.

In this talk, we will provide a brief background of the COVID-19 pandemic and how automated contact tracing might fit into the overall fight against its spread, we will discuss and assess technical approaches for using smartphone technology to detect contact exposure events while preserving privacy, and we will report on PACT’s impact to date and the road ahead.

About the Speaker

Dr Marc A. Zissman is Associate Head of the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In this role, he shares responsibility for strategic direction and technical oversight of 300 staff in six technical groups performing system analysis, architecture engineering, technology development, prototyping, deployment, and quantitative assessment of cyber-related components and systems for Department of Defense and other national security sponsors.

Dr Zissman joined the Laboratory in 1983, and his early research focused on digital speech processing, including parallel computing for speech coding and recognition, co-channel talker interference suppression, language and dialect identification, and cochlear-implant processing for the profoundly deaf. After working for one year in the Department of Defense under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act program, he expanded his research interests to include cyber security technology. He served in a series of Laboratory leadership roles, including Associate Leader of the Human Language Technology Group, Leader of the Wideband Tactical Networking Group, and Assistant Head of the Communication Systems and Cyber Security Division. He had responsibility for developing and executing a strategic plan for growing the Laboratory’s cyber security research, development, evaluation, and technology transfer efforts.

In addition to working at Lincoln Laboratory, Dr Zissman served for four years as a U.S. technical specialist to the NATO IST-011/TG-001 task group, which studies military applications of speech technology for NATO. He was elected to and served for four years on the Speech Processing Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. He also served for four years on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Science and Technology Study Group. He worked for six months as part of the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and Joint Task Force-HAITI team that responded to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and he worked on-site in Port-au-Prince for two months during that time.

Since 2011, he has been serving as a member of the Army Science Board, for which he has led studies for senior Army leadership on the future of telemetry and the battlefield uses of artificial intelligence. He is a board member of the non-profit Boston-based Advanced Cyber Security Center, and he serves as a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s state Task Force on Artificial Intelligence. Since March 2020, he has been part of the MIT / MA General Hospital team leading PACT (Private Automated Contact Tracing), a project that is enhancing contact tracing in pandemic response by designing exposure detection functions in personal digital communication devices to have maximal public health effectiveness while preserving privacy.

Dr Zissman holds an SB degree in computer science and SB, SM, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering, all from MIT.

Lecture 2 –  Advancing Ethical Aspects in AI Systems and Technologies: IEEE’s Walking the Talk by Konstantinos Karachalios

IEEE is a very reputable organisation because, since over a century, many of its members have been at the forefront of very significant techno-scientific advances. By contrast, the tagline “advancing technology for humanity” is just 10 years old. The extension “for humanity” is far from trivial, if one admits that the development of technology, and partly also of science, is embedded in broader socio-economic processes. Under realistic circumstances, assuming that these processes would a priori benefit the entire humanity, or at least broader parts thereof, may prove wishful thinking.

Logically, science and technology will serve the interests of the ones who determine and control the initial and boundary conditions of the socio-economic processes that drive forward the techno-scientific evolution, such as geopolitical considerations and market competition as well as financial and reputational incentives within the techno-scientific communities. This is probably the reason why as the speed of technological evolution follows a breathtaking exponential trajectory, the technology-caused extinction-level threats to humanity keep increasing, not decreasing.

The talk will address the question whether and how IEEE, through its leadership and membership, recognise these challenges and – if yes – what are the programs and plans aiming at reducing the gap between aspirational declarations and reality, starting with the specific case of AI systems.

About the Speaker

A globally recognised leader in standards development and intellectual property, Dr. Ing. Konstantinos Karachalios is Managing Director of the IEEE Standards Association and a member of the IEEE Management Council.

As Managing Director, he has been enhancing IEEE efforts in global standards development in strategic emerging technology fields, through technical excellence of staff, expansion of global presence and activities and emphasis on inclusiveness and good governance.

As member of the IEEE Management Council, he championed expansion of IEEE influence in key techno-political areas, including consideration of social and ethical implications of technology, according to the IEEE mission to advance technology for humanity. Results have been rapid in coming and profound; IEEE is becoming the place to go for debating and building consensus on issues such as a trustworthy and inclusive Internet and ethics in design of autonomous systems.

Before IEEE, Konstantinos played a crucial role in successful French-German cooperation in coordinated research and scenario simulation for large-scale nuclear reactor accidents. And with the European Patent Office, his experience included establishing EPO’s patent academy, the department for delivering technical assistance for developing countries and the public policy department, serving as an envoy to multiple U.N. organisations.

Konstantinos earned a Ph.D. in energy engineering (nuclear reactor safety) and masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Stuttgart.

Submit Your Question

We’d like to give you the opportunity to submit a question to any of our speakers before the event. Questions posted by 16th December will be forwarded to the moderators to be asked during the presentations.  There is also a chat option to ask questions during the event and will be addressed during 10 min Q&A time slots for each speaker.

We’d also like to ask you a few questions to understand a little bit more about those who have engaged with the Annual Christmas Lecture.

All answers are optional.

Are you a member of IEEE?
Where do you live?
Have you installed and used the NHS Test and Trace app?
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UK and Ireland Section Organising Team

Mona Ghassemian (Chair), Eduardo Audiche (Secretary), Nick Wainwright (Web Manager), Izzet Kale (Vice Chair), Mike Hinchey (Past Chair), Ali Hessami (SIGHT Chair), Matthew Gream (Treasurer) and Roy Ediss (Conference Co-ordinator).

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