Can digital technologies be trusted?

A general state of mistrust

In our ultra-connected societies, individuals, businesses and nations are more exposed to digital risks than ever before.

Billions of digital data records are exchanged every day, with data traffic expected to grow by a factor of 50 between 2010 and 2025. And when these exchanges are poorly protected or not encrypted, more data means more vulnerabilities. The number of attacks has also continued to grow, with an estimated 14 billion data records* lost or stolen since 2013. The many data breaches exposed in recent years have also played a role in eroding long-term user confidence.

Added to this fear of hacking or digital identity theft, there is mounting concern over artificial intelligence, whose computing power clearly cannot be matched by the human brain. For example, when an aircraft flies a one-hour reconnaissance mission covering an area of 3,000 km², it takes experienced military personnel an average of 300 hours to analyse the images. With the AI-assisted image recognition system being tested today, that volume of data can be analysed in real time! Broadly speaking, however, even though artificial intelligence can process enormous volumes of data more efficiently than the human brain, it is still very hard to provide a mathematical explanation of how the results were achieved. This "black box effect" can present real problems if these results are going to influence the human decision-making process.

Can digital technologies be trusted in these conditions?

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