Talk at King’s College London – November 7 – Deciding on Choice: Cybersecurity, Politics and (Cyber)War

I am speaking on November 7 2019 at KCL’s Cyber Security Research Group at their Strand Campus, London. I am going to be substantively developing on my doctoral research on malware to complement it with a broader appreciation of other computational ‘materialities’ and my critiques of ‘artificial intelligence’. In order to do so I will be blending and weaving Hayles, Whitehead, and Derrida among others to establish my thoughts on decision and choice. In particular, this will be orientated to questions of intentionality and politics in discussions in cybersecurity and more so in ‘cyberwar’. I am thoroughly looking forward to this event – and the (inevitable and welcome) critique that I hope comes forth from a variety of perspectives.

There is an Eventbrite link if you wish to attend and it is open to all: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/deciding-on-choice-cybersecurity-politics-and-cyberwar-tickets-74267759869

The abstract for the talk is below (and I will try to keep it as faithful to this as possible on the day):

Artificial intelligence will solve cybersecurity! It is an existential threat! It will make better decisions for us!

That is at least what we are commonly told.

In this talk, I instead unpick why we talk of decision-making in machine learning, its inherent failings, and the implications of this for the future of cybersecurity. To do so, I develop on my doctoral work on malware to explore the intricacies of choice-making in computation as one of its core foundations. I argue that we must see malware – and other computational architectures – as political and active negotiators in the formation of (in)security.

This means our contemporary notions of weapon and (cyber)war sit on shaky foundations in an age which is experiencing an explosion in computational choice. We have to decide on the role of choice in our societies, what makes something ‘political’, and what happens when we have alternative cognitive human and computational registers working together, on parallel and increasingly divergent paths.

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