As part of its career guidance series in association with The Hindu, the SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Chennai, hosted two webinars on Friday.
The first was on ‘How AI is changing the technology perspective from learning to jobs under COVID-19’. Dr. R. Annie Uthra, associate professor, School of Computing, SRMIST, began by discussing the prospects of AI in automation, learning and business, and how it has been used during the pandemic. She also highlighted the increasing job opportunities for AI and ML (Machine Learning) engineers in various sectors.
Shweta Khurana, director, APJ Global Partnerships and Initiatives, Intel, spoke about the future of work. “Data is the new oil,” she said and emphasised the changes in work tasks, the workforce, and the growing AI skills crisis. She spoke of digital readiness and the need to empower youth with AI technology and social skills in an inclusive way for current and future jobs.
Dr. Pratyush Kumar, assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT-Madras, and co-founder, One Fourth Labs and AI4Bharat, highlighted three crucial points: learning the basics (understanding the foundational topics learnt at school), learning to learn (the ability to learn, relearn and upgrade skills as technology progresses) and learning to ask (asking questions such as ‘what can I do with this?’ Finding problems that haven’t been solved and finding solutions with technologies that already exist).
The second session focused on ‘How cybersecurity concerns are topping the headlines today due to the pandemic and what this means for the students in the field’. Dr. Revathi Venkataraman, chairperson, School of Computing, SRMIST, opened the session by talking about cybersecurity threats before and during the pandemic and emphasised the need to be aware and educated in the cybersecurity landscape.
Pankit Desai, co-founder and CEO of Sequretek, a cybersecurity firm, pointed out that the higher use of digital mediums in the past year had both empowered the users and also made them more vulnerable. He shared examples to show the mistakes people made online and the methods used by attackers. He reiterated that the best way was to follow the A.B.I.D.E principle: Anti-malware, Backup your data, Identity security, Data privacy, and Enhance and update.
The session ended with advocate and cyberlaw expert N.S. Nappinai sharing some ethical and legal aspects of cybersecurity. She spoke of the threats that young adults face and their lack of awareness about cyber laws to protect themselves. She emphasised the need to act fast in case of a cyber attack and reminded the audience to be responsible citizens and students of cybersecurity.
All three panellists pointed out that cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary subject and affects everyone, regardless of their field of interest.
The two sessions can be viewed at https://youtu.be/shovrlJE2oY and https://youtu.be/d43iprJRpQ0, respectively.