As the first Trump administration Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) wrapped-up at the White House on Thursday of this week, the media coverage of the event focused on the huge opportunities that new AI technology advances can provide for everyday life in America.

"The Trump administration will ensure our great nation remains the global leader in AI," the president's technology adviser, Michael Kratsios, said to a gathering of corporate leaders Thursday.

Participation in the AI Summit included top tech companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Wired magazine reported that the Trump administration is playing catch-up on artificial intelligence, but now sees the tremendous opportunities: “At a meeting that mingled industry, academia, and government, the Trump White House framed AI as a path to continued economic dominance over other nations.

Charles Isbell, a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, says he didn’t hear much new in Kratsios’ opening speech, or closing remarks from Jared Kushner that ended the day. But he came away impressed by the broad mix of different industries present.”

One sector-specific area that was addressed in the helpful summary report of the White House AI Summit was technology in transportation. Michael Kratsios said:

“As artificial intelligence transforms everything from agriculture to manufacturing to transportation — the potential for AI remains breathtaking. But we cannot be passive. To realize the full potential of AI for the American people, it will require the combined efforts of industry, academia, and government. …

American computers opened information in ways inconceivable to the rest of human history. Today, with so many of the mysteries of quantum computing, autonomous systems, and machine learning yet to be discovered, we can take hold of the future and make it our own. …”

Cybersecurity for Vehicles, Roads and More

No doubt, AI is the front-and-center topic in the global conversation surrounding policy, research and development of new technology. Thousands of books, articles and presentations lay out what is at stake regarding AI and machine learning for society — both good results and possible peril if things ago wrong.

Cybersecurity concerns are one essential area which must be addressed in tech advancement.

No area captures the public’s attention regarding the balance between tech innovation and cybersecurity more than autonomous vehicles. The overall security within a car or truck is vitally important to consumers as more and more features within automobiles are changing fast. Indeed, some experts predict that cars will bring the front line of technology innovation over the next decade.

Passenger safety is paramount, and global auto companies are working hard to maintain the public trust during this huge transition to autonomous vehicles over the next two decades.

Benefits of Global Auto Cyber Summit

It is with this AI and autonomous vehicle backdrop that the 2nd Billington Global Automotive Cybersecurity Summit comes to Detroit on Aug. 3. The new auto cybersummit theme for 2018 is: “Cybersecurity: The Cornerstone of Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Safety.”

The cybersummit event website lays out the top industry leaders that are already committed to speak at the summit. In addition to Thomas K. Billington, chairman and founder of Billington CyberSecurity, which runs cybersummits around the world, the speakers include:

Daniel Ammann, President, General Motors Company Josh Davis, Chief Information Security Officer, Toyota Motor North America John Felker, Director, National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), Department of Homeland Security Paul Abbate, Associate Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation The Honorable Gary Peters, U.S. Senator from Michigan And while this list is already impressive, the number of top speakers will grow further to include many more top auto sector leaders. This summit will become a “must attend” event for anyone who is serious about automotive cybersecurity issues and important dialog regarding security with the wider transportation sector — including public policy actions.

Why Is this Cybersecurity Event in Detroit So Important?

The first automotive cybersecurity summit in July 2016 in Detroit was very impressive, to say the least. There were numerous sessions and topics that received immense coverage by all the top news media organizations. Here is the opening keynote that was presented by Mary Barra, chairman & CEO of General Motors (GM):

More than most other cybersecurity events I have attended over the years, the 2016 event taught newer concepts and perspectives on technology and security. I learned a tremendous amount about automotive cybersecurity at the first auto cybersummit event, and so did many other industry experts that I trust. It was not just a group of security and technology leaders getting together to listen to good speakers, but offered intriguing new topics with cutting-edge implications for society.

For example, here are two quotes from attendees to think about, “The Billington Automotive CyberSecurity Summit was truly the most useful cyberevent I have ever attended,” said Kristin Judge, director of Special Projects for the National Cyber Security Alliance.

“The Billington events are preeminent in bringing together thought leaders to openly discuss (often controversial) cybersecurity topics that other conferences tend to avoid. Founder Tom Billington has a knack for finding both the right issues and the right people to make his conferences a first-class event,” said Robert Bigman, president of 2BSecure (Former CISO of the CIA, for 15 years)

One specific topic that I learned more about two years ago was bug bounties. I became much more aware about the auto sector was working with ethical hackers to find and remediate vulnerabilities, and also how this topic is (and will) impact global governments. In fact, I wrote this blog on why governments should implement bug bounty programs. Here is the C-SPAN session which covered that topic from 2016.

Closing Thoughts

I urge readers to consider attending this Global Automotive Cybersecurity Summit in Detroit on Aug. 3, 2018 at the Cobo Center. I am sure that you will benefit in many professional ways — especially if you are in any way associated with the transportation industry. I expect to see some industry announcements, cyber-research outcomes and much more.

If you are a top leader in the cybersecurity, automotive or government transportation sectors, and you are interested in speaking on a panel or getting involved in other ways, you should visit the website and get in touch with the Billington team immediately.

Watch this space for a blog following the event on significant outcomes covering what I learned about autonomous vehicle cybersecurity efforts and other car security topics.