technological advancements and the rapid proliferation of Internet of Things
(IoT), our world is increasingly interconnected. Governments and businesses
across the globe also seek to leverage technology to improve their products and
services to citizens and customers. While digital technologies present new
opportunities and transform the way we live and work, the digital disruption
also brings out new challenges, particularly in cybersecurity.
OpenGov had the privilege to speak to Mr Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director
of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, on the fast-changing cybersecurity
landscape in the Asia Pacific region and how organisations can better prepare
themselves to deal with cybersecurity threats.
to comment on how the cybersecurity landscape has evolved and some of the
emerging trends, Mr Neumeier shared some of his observations that 2017 has seen
“the most intensive of cybersecurity incidents”.
most of what our researchers at Kaspersky Lab has projected to happen were
brought to fruition — espionage has gone mobile, APTs attacked enterprise
networks, financial attacks continued, a new wave of ransomware attacks came
about, critical ICS processes were disrupted, poorly secured IoT devices were
targeted, and even information warfare figured last year,” he said.
he saw a continuation of these attacks and much more as the themes and trends
build on each other, year after year, expanding further the threat landscape
where individuals, businesses and governments are relentlessly pursued and attacked.
challenges in Asia Pacific
different markets may face different challenges, depending on the region’s
capabilities to tackle and mitigate cybersecurity threats. OpenGov asked Mr
Neumeier his views on whether the Asia Pacific region face similar or unique
challenges compare to the rest of the world.
to him, the Asia Pacific market is very different and unique from other regions
globally, especially from a cultural perspective.
“It is a
very young region with a very significant number of millennials growing up. Not
to mention that it consists of the two most populated countries in the world,
China and India. As internet is becoming a major part of our lives, these young
generations require access to fast internet. To cater to these need, massive
investments are being made by respective countries in the APAC to
infrastructure to improve internet speed, making sure that their country are
not left behind and to keep up with the growth of the technology space,” he
that, in the last few years, infrastructures within the APAC countries are
beginning to have almost similar qualities as countries in Europe such as
Switzerland and Germany. However, from a cybersecurity perspective, the
awareness and understanding are not in the same level as those in these matured
countries and this is a huge challenge for the APAC region. This is why, in
this market, we should focus more in education and awareness of cybersecurity.”
level of cybersecurity awareness in the region, Mr Neumeier pointed out that
although the region has a large number of active users of the Internet, there
still appears to be a low awareness of cybersecurity among Internet users in
this low level of cybersecurity awareness combined with high Internet usage
means that the Internet users in the region have been the prime targets of
cyber threat attacks such as when the Naikon APT targeted top-level government
agencies and civil military organisations or when the Wannacry and Petya
ransomware outbreak began or when the Mirai malware unleashed DDoS attacks.
bring your own device (BYOD) is the big trend affecting how businesses operate
online, with 72% of companies expecting to use the concept extensively in the
near future, according to a survey by B2B International on behalf of Kaspersky
Lab. It’s inevitable that in any company, small or large, many employees will
use personal devices to connect to the corporate network and access
confidential data. That’s why companies need to implement policies that
safeguard both corporate and personal mobile devices,” he said.
society, we need to find ways to raise awareness of the risks associated with
online activity and develop effective methods to minimize these risks. There’s
technology at the core of any solution to tackle cybersecurity. But it is most
important to incorporate the human dimension of security, so we can effectively
mitigate the risk,” he added.
takes is a single person to bring it all down”
biggest cybersecurity threats organisations face today, Mr Neumeier highlighted
the human factor in IT security, naming it “most common security
a recent global study conducted by Kaspersky Lab on cybersecurity
awareness involving about 5,000 businesses, which showed that organisations are
at a very real threat from within. According to this study, careless or
uninformed employees account for about 52% as the top cause of data leakage in
closer look at this study, it reveals that despite the rapid proliferation of
destructive and more complex malware or Trojans, organisations should be more
concerned about their most important asset – their people,” he said.
have the best technical means and the most thought-out security policy but it
is never enough to protect your organisation from cyberthreats. All it takes is
a single person to bring it all down,” he added.
he also pointed out that in most case, it is unintentional because that one
employee is unaware of threats and doesn’t have the basic cybersecurity
knowledge. According to the cited study, an approximate 65% of
organisations now already invest in employee cybersecurity training to close
breaches affect both large and small organisations, with average losses from
data breaches currently passing the $1 million mark, a significant jump over
the past two years.
enterprises, the average cost of one incident from March 2017 to February 2018
has reached $1.23 million, which is 24% higher from 2016-2017. For the SMBs,
it’s an average of $120,000 per cyber incident, which only costs $32,000 more
than a year ago,” he shared.
Neumeier iterated that whether it is a massive cybersecurity incident or
small-scale one, about 80% of them point to having been caused by human error.
ever, cybersecurity awareness and education are now critical requirements for
organisations of any size that is faced with the prospect of falling prey to
cybercriminals. At this point, there is a definitive need for organisations
regardless of size for solutions that provide centralized security management
of networks combined with training that zeroes in on the ‘how’ part of the
of an effective cybersecurity strategy
need to develop an effective and all-round cybersecurity strategy to protect
its assets and interests. Mr Neumeier recommended a cyclical approach of
continuous monitoring and analytics in building an effective cybersecurity
years in the industry has taught us that what makes the most sense for
enterprise IT infrastructure to have true cybersecurity is to put in place a
cyclical adaptive security framework. This would have to be a flexible,
proactive multi-layered protection infrastructure which dynamically adapts and
responds to the ever-changing threat landscape,” he said.
to him, Kaspersky Lab’s security architecture is based on a cycle of
activities, comprised of four key segments namely Prevent, Detect, Respond, and
continued to explain, “At the core of Kaspersky Lab’s True Cybersecurity
is HuMachine Intelligence, a seamless fusion of Big Data-based Threat
Intelligence, Machine Learning and Human Expertise. We have designed it so
because we believe we’re in a never-ending arms race — IT threats are dramatically
evolving day in and day out and here we are totally focused on following the
trail of hackers and further refining our solutions so we stay ahead of them.
It’s a continuous process.”
components of cybersecurity resilience
threat intelligence and endpoint detection can protect organisations and boost
organisations’ ability to respond to threats, Mr Neumeier stated that targeted
attacks have become one of the fastest growing threats in 2017.
to be that organisations employ endpoint protection platforms (EPP) to control
known threats such as traditional malware or unknown viruses which might use a
new form of malware directed at endpoints. However, cybercrime techniques have
significantly evolved such that attack processes have become aggressive and
expansive in recent years,” said Mr Neumeier.
alarming that the specifics of the targeted attacks that cybercriminals use,
and the technological limitations of traditional endpoint protection products
mean that a conventional cybersecurity approach is no longer sufficient.
of incidents associated with simple threats is negligible at US$10,000 compared
with an advanced persistent threat (APT) attack which would set an organisation
for about US$926,000.
withstand targeted attacks and APT-level threats on endpoints, organisations
need to consider EPP with endpoint detection and response (EDR)
functionalities,” the expert said.
“EDR is a
cybersecurity technology that addresses the need for real-time monitoring, focusing
heavily on security analytics and incident response on corporate endpoints. It
delivers true end-to-end visibility into the activity of every endpoint in the
corporate infrastructure, managed from a single console, together with valuable
security intelligence for use by an IT security expert in further investigation
and response,” he explained.
to Mr Neumeier, an organisation needs an EDR if it is looking at a proactive
detection of new or unknown threats, previously unidentified infections
penetrating it directly through endpoints and servers. This is achieved by
analysing events in the grey zone, home of those objects or processes included
in neither the “trusted” nor the “definitely malicious” zone.
on each organisation’s maturity and experience in the field of security, and
the availability of necessary resources, some businesses will find it most
effective to use their own expertise for endpoint security but will take
advantage of outsourced resources for more complex aspects.
they can build up in-house expertise with skills training, through access to a
threat intelligence portal and APT intelligence reporting, and using threat
data feeds. Or — particularly attractive for overwhelmed or understaffed
security departments — they can adopt third-party professional services from
Lab’s approach to endpoint protection includes the following components:
Kaspersky Endpoint Security, Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response, and
Kaspersky Cybersecurity Services.
organisations unable, for reasons of regulatory compliance, to release or
transfer any corporate data outside their environment, or that require complete
infrastructure isolation, Kaspersky Private Security Network provides most of
the benefits of global cloud-based threat intelligence as provided by Kaspersky
Security Network (KSN,) without any data ever leaving the controlled perimeter.
counteract advanced threats and targeted attacks, businesses need automated
tools and services designed to complement each other and help security teams
prevent most attacks, detect unique new threats rapidly, handle live attacks,
respond to attacks in a timely manner, and predict future threats.
prevention as a key line of defence, Mr Neumeier gave the following suggestions
on measured that organisations can take to prevent cybersecurity incidents:
emphasise it enough – that preventing cybersecurity incidents from happening or
damaging our organisation’s finances or reputation, starts with raising
awareness and education.”
he urged organisations to strengthen the weakest links, toughen the target
systems and assets, and improve the effectiveness of current solutions to keep
up with the modern threats.
same time, Mr Neumeier emphasised the importance for organisations to be well
equipped with threat intelligence.
moving from a reactive security model to a proactive security model based on
risk management, continuous monitoring, more informed incident response and
threat hunting capabilities,” he said.
“As we say
at Kaspersky Lab, prediction is doing more to guard against future
threats. Having access to cybersecurity experts that will keep organisations
updated on the constantly-changing global threat landscape and will help them
test their systems and existing defenses is a vital element to help them adapt
and keep pace with emerging security challenges”.
Tips on how
to keep up with the fast-changing cybersecurity landscape
As we face
increasing cybersecurity challenges, what can organisations and individuals do
to protect themselves?
organisations, Mr Neumeier spoke on the importance of having cybersecurity trainings
and adopting a cyclical approach to cybersecurity strategy.
how we conduct our cybersecurity trainings, here are two quick tips: One, avoid
abstract information and focus on certain practical skills. Second, instruct
different groups of employees differently,” he shared.
the staff on the motivations of security policies, the importance of working
safely and how to contribute to the security of their organisations can help
mitigate the risk of security incidents and safeguard what is truly important –
underscored the importance of having a new mindset in the face of new threats.
Here are some of the best practices he shared on how individuals can to be
risk-ready in the world of advanced attacks and epidemic outbreaks:
1. Remember the weakest link. Be aware and
knowledgeable about cybersecurity.
2. Invest in technology. Shift your focus towards a
proactive protection approach that goes beyond prevention; should be
adaptive, advanced, predictive and involve human expertise
3. Back up
5. Secure your network with a strong password.
exists today a great deal of highly-motivated cybercriminals who will try to
find all points of vulnerability in an Internet user or within an organisation
just to get what they want. Most of the time, the road to remediation and
recovery is complicated and expensive, whether the victim is an individual or
an institution,” he concluded.
The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) has been on a remarkable journey of advancements in cardiovascular research, particularly in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of heart diseases. With the global rise in heart disease cases, NHCS’s dedication to scientific knowledge and innovation has become increasingly vital.
Since its establishment in 2014, the National Heart Research Institute of Singapore (NHRIS) at NHCS has positioned itself as a leading institution for cardiovascular research in the region. Over the years, NHRIS has achieved significant breakthroughs that hold the potential to transform patient outcomes.
NHRIS’s research encompasses a wide spectrum of disciplines within cardiovascular medicine, spanning basic, translational, and clinical research. Notable achievements include Heart Stem Cell Therapy and Preventing Fibrosis.
By studying patients’ heart stem cells, researchers have uncovered new treatments for heart diseases. For example, a breakthrough treatment using myeloperoxidase has been discovered for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited condition characterised by thickening of the heart muscle.
Also, through the study of heart tissue from patients undergoing surgery, NHRIS researchers have identified a potential treatment involving interleukin-11 antibodies to prevent inflammation and fibrosis in the heart and other organs. This innovative therapy has the potential to improve outcomes for patients with various inflammatory and fibrotic conditions.
The next phase of NHCS’s research efforts over the coming years will focus on three key areas:
- Discovery of New Treatments: Ongoing research aims to develop new treatments for heart diseases, enhancing patient outcomes.
- Utilising Artificial Intelligence: NHCS is at the forefront of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into cardiovascular care. AI holds promise in predicting, diagnosing, and monitoring heart diseases with greater precision and efficiency. The APOLLO study, initiated in 2021, is building an AI-driven national platform for coronary angiography analysis, offering detailed reports on patients’ conditions and future cardiovascular disease risk.
- Clinical Trials and Population Health Studies: NHCS’s research agenda includes conducting clinical trials and population health studies to prevent the onset of heart disease.
NHRIS is pioneering innovative approaches, including Visualising Energy Pathways and AI Applications.
Disturbances in energy-producing pathways in heart muscle contribute to heart conditions as Hyperpolarised magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a novel imaging technology available only in a few centres worldwide, allows the measurement of these metabolic pathways, potentially leading to new treatments for heart disease.
On the other hand, AI accelerates research in the field of cardiovascular science. By processing vast datasets and identifying patterns, AI systems assist researchers in identifying novel treatment methods, risk factors, and disease mechanisms. These insights lead to breakthroughs in treatment and prevention methods, advancing the overall understanding of cardiovascular diseases.
With this, NHCS is leveraging AI to detect, predict, and diagnose heart diseases by analysing complex imaging data. AI provides clinicians with invaluable insights, enabling personalised care and early intervention.
In addition, NHCS collaborates with other heart research institutes and hospitals through CADENCE (Cardiovascular Disease National Collaborative Enterprise), a national platform that combines heart research capabilities in data science, clinical trials, and AI. This collaboration ensures a collective effort to advance cardiovascular research and improve patient care.
NHCS’s groundbreaking research initiatives in AI applications, clinical trials, and collaborative efforts underscore its commitment to enhancing patient care. As NHCS continues its pursuit of research excellence, its impact extends beyond Singapore, benefiting individuals across the region and around the world. The institution is poised to make substantial progress in preventing, diagnosing, and managing cardiovascular diseases, ultimately reshaping the future of cardiovascular medicine.
An innovative microscope developed by a research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is poised to revolutionise the field of cancer surgery. This cutting-edge microscope, powered by artificial intelligence, has the potential to transform the way surgeons detect and remove cancerous tissue during operations, thereby sparing patients from the distressing prospect of secondary surgeries.
Lung cancer, a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, has been a focal point for this ground-breaking research. Professor Terence Wong Tsz-Wai, the principal investigator of the project and an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at HKUST, highlights the urgency of their work.
He notes that between 10% to 20% of lung cancer surgery cases require patients to return for a second operation due to incomplete removal of cancer cells. This uncertainty has long plagued surgeons, who often struggle to determine if they’ve successfully excised all cancerous tissue during the initial surgery.
The HKUST research team, led by Prof. Wong, is eager to see their innovation make a significant impact. Collaborating with five hospitals, including Queen Mary Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, and three mainland Chinese hospitals, they have embarked on a large-scale clinical trial involving around 1,000 patient tissue samples. The goal is to have the microscope officially in service locally by 2024 and on the mainland by 2025.
The current methods for imaging cancer tissue offer either accuracy with lengthy delays or speed at the cost of accuracy. Traditional microscopy, considered the gold standard, is highly accurate but can take up to a week to generate results. This means patients must endure a week of anxious waiting to know the outcome of their surgery. In cases where the operation is deemed unsuccessful, patients face the daunting prospect of a second surgery to remove the remaining cancer cells.
The alternative, known as the frozen section, provides quicker results within 30 minutes but sacrifices accuracy, with an estimated accuracy rate of only around 70%.
The HKUST research team’s breakthrough technology, termed “Computational High-throughput Autofluorescence Microscopy by Pattern Illumination” (CHAMP), has changed this landscape. It can detect cancer cells in just three minutes with an accuracy rate exceeding 90%, rivalling the gold standard but with significantly faster results.
CHAMP employs ultraviolet (UV) light excitation to image tissue surfaces at a specific wavelength. Subsequently, a deep learning algorithm transforms the obtained greyscale image into a histological image, facilitating instant interpretation by doctors. This real-time feedback empowers surgeons to ensure they have completely removed all cancer cells during the operation.
CHAMP’s potential has garnered local, regional, and international acclaim, leading to the establishment of a start-up supported by HKUST and funded by the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU). Beyond developing the technology, the company plans to manufacture CHAMP microscopes for medical institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China, and overseas markets.
This endeavour represents the culmination of years of meticulous research, starting with Prof. Wong’s PhD training at Washington University in St. Louis and the California Institute of Technology. During this period, Prof. Wong, under the guidance of biomedical imaging expert Prof. Lihong Wang, developed a microscope capable of analysing breast cancer tumours with an accuracy rate comparable to the gold standard but with results in just one to two hours.
The shift in focus to lung cancer occurred when a pulmonologist approached Prof. Wong, recognising the potential of the technology to enhance precision during lung cancer surgery. This decision led to the development of CHAMP microscopy, which is approximately 100 times faster than Prof. Wong’s earlier work during his PhD training. This breakthrough makes CHAMP clinically useful and impactful.
The applications of CHAMP extend beyond lung and breast cancers. The research team is conducting tests on smaller scales for conditions such as liver, colorectal, kidney, and skin cancers, as well as prostate gland conditions. Prof. Wong is confident that CHAMP will elevate medical imaging and diagnosis to new heights, benefiting not only Hong Kong hospitals but also healthcare institutions nationwide and abroad. This pioneering technology represents a beacon of hope for cancer patients, offering the promise of quicker, more accurate surgeries and improved outcomes.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) spearheaded an initiative aimed at promoting innovation and technology in the biotech sector, showcasing Hong Kong’s pioneering advancements and entrepreneurial spirit.
This initiative was part of the “Think Business, Think Hong Kong” event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Paris recently. The event was a platform to underscore the potential for cross-border collaboration between Hong Kong and France in the field of biotechnology and innovation.
The government has unveiled the Intelligent Grievance Monitoring System (IGMS) 2.0 Public Grievance Portal and Automated Analysis in the Tree Dashboard portal under the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). It was unveiled by Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology.
The IGMS 2.0 Dashboard was developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) as part of an agreement with the DARPG through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2021. It enhances DARPG’s Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System Information Systems (CPGRAMS) by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. CPGRAMS is an online platform available to citizens round-the-clock to lodge their grievances to the public authorities on any subject related to service delivery.
The dashboard offers instant tabular analyses of both grievances filed and disposed of. It provides data categorised by state and district for grievances filed, and it also offers Ministry-wise data. Additionally, the dashboard can help officials identify the root causes of grievances.
The CPGRAMS portal receives an increasingly high caseload of issues raised by the general public. Given the public’s expectations for the timely resolution of their grievances, the portal receives approximately 2 million grievances annually.
Due to the substantial volume of grievances received, the manual classification and monitoring of cases is not feasible. The IGMS portal will assist the DARPG in generating draft letters for specific schemes or ministries. This automation expedites the grievance redressal process carried out by the respective ministries and departments involved.
According to Minister Singh, the Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasised the significance of grievance redressal as a crucial element to keep the government accountable and promote citizen-centric governance. In alignment with this vision, a more robust human interface mechanism has been introduced, which includes counselling services provided after the resolution of grievances.
The Minister praised DARPG for ensuring that the CPGRAMS portal is accessible in 22 Scheduled languages, in addition to English, ensuring that the benefits of the portal are accessible to the common man. He also emphasised the importance of integrating state public grievance (PG) portals and other government portals with CPGRAMS for more effective and streamlined grievance redressal processes.
He claimed that thanks to the reforms implemented by DARPG in the CPGRAMS, the average time it takes for central ministries and departments to resolve public grievances has decreased. There has been a decline of almost 50% in the average disposal time for central ministries and departments from 32 days in 2021 to 18 days in 2023.
Minister Singh also launched the Swachhata Special Campaign 3.0 and unveiled the Precedent Book (e-book) developed by the department. He praised the DARPG for achieving the transition to a fully paperless office, where all communication is conducted through the eOffice portal.
During the past two Swachhata campaigns, an impressive 9 million square feet of prime office space has been successfully cleared and repurposed for productive use. Additionally, 456,000 public grievances have been effectively redressed, and 8,998 references from Members of Parliament (MPs) have been addressed. The Swachhata campaign has also played a pivotal role in promoting an eOffice work culture within the government, resulting in over 90% of file work being transitioned to an online format.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has introduced the Centre for AI Security Research (CAISER) to confront the existing threats stemming from the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence by governments and industries worldwide. This move concedes the potential benefits of AI in data processing, operational streamlining, and decision-making while acknowledging the associated security challenges.
ORNL and CAISER will collaborate with federal agencies such as the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. Together, they will conduct a comprehensive scientific analysis to assess the vulnerabilities, threats, and risks associated with emerging and advanced artificial intelligence, addressing concerns ranging from individual privacy to international security.
Susan Hubbard, Deputy for Science and Technology at ORNL, emphasised this endeavour, “Understanding AI vulnerabilities and risks represents one of the most significant scientific challenges of our time. ORNL is at the forefront of advancing AI to tackle critical scientific issues for the Department of Energy, and we are confident that our laboratory can assist DOE and other federal partners in addressing crucial AI security questions, all while providing valuable insights to policymakers and the general public.”
CAISER represents an expansion of ORNL’s ongoing Artificial Intelligence for Science and National Security initiative, which leverages the laboratory’s unique capabilities, infrastructure, and data to accelerate scientific advancements.
Prasanna Balaprakash, Director of AI Programmes at ORNL, emphasised that AI technologies substantially benefit the public and government. CAISER aims to apply the lab’s expertise to comprehensively understand threats and ensure AI’s safe and secure utilisation.
Previous research has highlighted vulnerabilities in AI systems, including the potential for adversarial attacks that can corrupt AI models, manipulate output, or deceive detection algorithms. Additionally, generative AI technologies can generate convincing deepfake content.
Edmon Begoli, Head of ORNL’s Advanced Intelligent Systems section and CAISER’s founding director emphasised the importance of addressing AI vulnerabilities. CAISER aims to pioneer AI security research, developing strategies and solutions to mitigate emerging risks.
CAISER’s research endeavours will provide federal partners with a science-based understanding of AI risks and effective mitigation strategies, ensuring the reliability and resilience of AI tools against adversarial threats.
They provide educational outreach and disseminate information to inform the public, policymakers, and the national security community.
CAISER’s initial focus revolves around four national security domains aligned with ORNL’s strengths: AI for cybersecurity, biometrics, geospatial intelligence, and nuclear nonproliferation. Collaboration with national security and industry partners is critical to these efforts.
Col Fred Garcia, Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, expressed confidence in CAISER’s role in studying AI vulnerabilities and safeguarding against potential threats in an AI-driven world.
Moreover, as ORNL celebrates its 80th anniversary, CAISER embodies the laboratory’s commitment to solving complex challenges, advancing emerging scientific fields, and making a global impact. With its established cybersecurity and AI research programmes, ORNL is well-suited to pioneer AI security research through CAISER.
Moe Khaleel, Associated Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences at ORNL, highlighted the laboratory’s legacy of scientific discovery in various fields and emphasised CAISER’s role in scientifically observing, analysing and evaluating AI models to meet national security needs.
The agricultural sector continues to experience technological advancements. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a part of the modern agricultural industry. AI technology is used in various aspects, from production and management to marketing. Agriculture heavily relies on weather, soil, and the environment. Therefore, AI technology related to drones and sensors is essential to support precision agriculture
Drones’ ability to rapidly scan areas with high-quality sensors is beneficial in various applications, including crop mapping, soil analysis, environmental surveys, livestock monitoring, and infrastructure surveillance.
In light of this, the Food Crops Research Centre (PRTP) of the Agriculture and Food Research Organisation (ORPP) under the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) held an occasion regarding AI technology in the development of drones and sensors and its applications in agriculture.
Puji Lestari, the Head of ORPP BRIN, expressed that this occasion would benefit BRIN and other stakeholders. She emphasised that combining drone and sensor technology would create innovative solutions to address food availability challenges.
Furthermore, Puji also highlighted that precision agriculture is closely tied to the availability of tools. Implementing AI in rapid data analysis as a basis for decision-making, ranging from planting and feeding to irrigation and harvesting, is expected to benefit farmers.
The AI-based capabilities, including high-quality sensors and scanning, enable rapid work and real-time data processing, plant identification, and decision-making to support productivity targets. Therefore, the Food Crops Research Centre should provide more opportunities to utilise AI-based technology that supports increased crop productivity,” he emphasised.
At the same time, the Head of PRTP BRIN, Yudhistira Nugraha, also acknowledged that technological advancements have become inevitable. Through the science community, AI researchers are expected to actively contribute to utilising AI technology, turning it into a valuable science that can be applied to agricultural development in Indonesia.
“We can gain many benefits using AI technology for monitoring agricultural land, including fertiliser usage, fertility identification, plant growth, and with the help of AI technology, farmers can make decisions and take actions that can be applied in the farming system to increase productivity,” he explained.
Tri Surya Harapan, Research Manager at a company that provides sales of drones and surveillance services for agriculture, the environment, defence, forestry, and marine purposes, explained about multispectral cameras that provide information on plant health and management.
“AI is widely known for replicating human intelligence and can be simulated using computer systems. Automation sensors embedded in drones, such as camera sensors, LIDAR sensors, or other advanced sensors, provide valuable information as decision-makers in the field without direct human intervention,” he said.
“The use of AI with drone and sensor technology requires relatively high service costs, so in its implementation, collaboration with stakeholders on a large scale is needed,” Tri clarified.
Meanwhile, Senior Researcher at PRTP BRIN, Muhammad Aqil, discussed the Utilisation of Drone Technology in Food Crop Research. This is in line with the direction of the President of Indonesia in the 2021 National IPTEK Coordination Meeting, which emphasises the use of modern technology and contribution to the era of Industry 4.0, including the application of artificial intelligence technology to support all fields/activities, including agriculture.
“We have gone through several stages before reaching Industry 4.0, and now it’s time to use drone technology to monitor the nutrient status of plants, quickly detect pest attacks (OPT – Plant Pest Organisms), check strain contamination, inspect seed production data cells, and determine the harvest time,” said Aqil.
Aqil concluded that the vegetation index-based model developed for the selection of corn genotypes, which are tolerant to both NDVI and NDRE, has proven capable of predicting harvest yields and the best genotype types in corn variety selection in the field.
“By integrating drones and image analysis, it could support research activities, especially in the field,” Aqil added.
The advent of big data has opened up new possibilities for driving sustainable development and informed decision-making. In the context of New Zealand, harnessing the potential of big data presents numerous opportunities to address social, economic, and environmental challenges.
Police agencies in New Zealand are increasingly turning to advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to bolster their emergency response and risk assessment capabilities. Recent tragic incidents, such as the shooting of an unarmed constable in West Auckland in 2020, have prompted the development of innovative safety programmes aimed at improving law enforcement effectiveness. One intelligence system has emerged as a central component in this technological transformation.
By collaborating closely with major multinational technology companies specialising in data-driven policing systems, police agencies are harnessing the power of AI to redefine how they assess risks during emergencies. The intelligence system represents a leap forward in enhancing police intelligence systems, enabling law enforcement officers to make more informed decisions swiftly.
One of the critical achievements of the intelligence system is its ability to overcome the limitations of previous intelligence systems. The traditional system struggled to access essential information about criminal organisations, particularly gangs and firearms. This fragmentation hindered the ability of law enforcement to connect the dots and respond effectively to emerging threats swiftly.
However, the intelligence system has revolutionised this process by providing instant access to vital connections and associations. This newfound capability significantly enhances police efficiency and decision-making in the digital age.
The intelligence system’s impressive functionality extends beyond mere data access. It leverages advanced AI technologies to deliver more valuable intelligence, particularly concerning firearm-related threats.
By integrating data from various sources and employing machine learning algorithms, the intelligence system rapidly analyses and disseminates pertinent information. Front-line officers now can receive real-time updates directly on their smartphones, enabling them to respond effectively to evolving situations.
While the incorporation of advanced AI technology in law enforcement holds promise, it inevitably raises concerns surrounding privacy, transparency, and potential bias. This is not an isolated issue, as similar data-driven policing systems worldwide have grappled with these challenges. To address these concerns effectively, it is essential to conduct comprehensive privacy impact assessments and ensure the utmost transparency in the deployment of such technology.
Furthermore, the emergence of the intelligence system underscores the critical role of collaboration among organisations and the need for strategic partnerships to drive innovation. This initiative exemplifies how technology partnerships can push the boundaries of what’s possible and enhance capabilities beyond individual and organisational limits. In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, collaboration stands as the linchpin of resilience, enabling organisations to collectively address multifaceted challenges and fortify their defences against cyber threats.
The integration of advanced AI technology, exemplified by the intelligence system, into law enforcement operations, has the potential to bring public safety and police effectiveness. However, it simultaneously underscores the paramount importance of ethical considerations, transparency, and the responsible use of such technology to mitigate potential risks and biases.
In the pursuit of a safer and more secure digital future, collaboration remains indispensable, not just for technological advancement but also for achieving the overarching goal of creating a society where innovation thrives and security reigns supreme.
The emerging field of artificial intelligence (AI) has profoundly impacted the healthcare industry. Mahidol University has recognised the development and recently organised an event where experts and academicians gathered to discuss the importance of implementing artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.
The discussions revolved around how AI technologies, such as machine learning and data analytics, can assist healthcare professionals in making more accurate diagnoses, optimise treatment plans, and personalise patient care. Moreover, AI can streamline administrative tasks, improve resource allocation, and enhance patient engagement.
On this occasion, Dr Somkiat Tangkitvanich, a Member of the Mahidol University Council and President of Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), acknowledged augmented reality’s increasing role in making the healthcare industry more efficient.
As AI advances, it transforms various aspects of healthcare, from diagnostics and treatment planning to patient care and administrative tasks. Augmented reality, a technology that overlays digital information onto the physical world, is becoming an invaluable tool in this transformation.
“By leveraging AI, it will not only expedite the diagnosis process but also enhance the precision of diagnoses,” he elaborated.
In healthcare, augmented reality finds applications in medical training, enabling students and professionals to observe intricate anatomical structures and surgical procedures in real-time. This technology enriches the learning process, leading to a deeper understanding of medical concepts.
Additionally, Professor Apichat Asavamongkolkul, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, added that AI has the potential to generate a seamless work-life balance for doctors and healthcare professionals. AI technologies continue to advance and integrate into healthcare, alleviating some of the daily burdens and challenges that healthcare professionals face.
AI can automate routine tasks, such as administrative work and data entry, allowing doctors to focus more on patient care. It can enhance diagnostics, provide doctors with more accurate and efficient diagnosis tools, and reduce uncertainty. AI can also optimise scheduling and resource allocation, giving doctors more predictable schedules and time efficiency.
“AI-powered diagnostic tools can help doctors reach more precise conclusions, potentially improving patient outcomes and reducing the need for extensive and invasive procedures.” Furthermore, AI-driven remote monitoring solutions enable doctors to track patients’ health remotely, reducing the need for frequent in-person visits. AI supports decision-making by providing data-driven insights, streamlining administrative processes like insurance claims and billing, reducing the administrative burden on healthcare providers,” he expressed.
Furthermore, they firmly believe that harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare sector will ensure its long-term sustainability and effectiveness.
On this occasion, Professor Apichat reminded us that Thailand’s demographic landscape has undergone a significant transformation, characterised by a notable increase in the elderly population, which now accounts for over 17% of the total populace. This demographic shift has officially classified Thailand as an ageing society. Addressing the unique healthcare needs of this growing elderly population presents a considerable challenge and opportunity for leveraging AI technology.
“Wise and responsible use of AI in healthcare involves addressing ethical concerns, data privacy, and ensuring that AI algorithms are transparent, unbiased, and validated for their intended purposes. Moreover, it’s essential to maintain a human-centric approach to healthcare, emphasising the importance of empathy, patient-provider relationships, and holistic care,” he elaborated.
Seeing this, it marks that Mahidol University underscored the commitment of healthcare professionals and academics to harnessing the power of AI to improve healthcare outcomes, which extends far beyond the confines of its campus. It is a declaration that they are not content with merely meeting the current standards of patient care and medical research; they aspire to set new standards and lead the way in shaping the future of healthcare and medical knowledge.