Garry Kasparov, Avast Security Ambassador and former world chess champion, will share his views on the challenges arising from the proliferation of AI at the IFA+ Summit

Since Garry Kasparov’s legendary chess matches against IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in 1996 and 1997, Kasparov has been deeply engaged with artificial intelligence, human-machine interaction, and human rights issues. We started by asking him about his presentation at the IFA+ Summit.


With the rise of intelligent technologies, questions of ethics and responsibility in online privacy gain a new level of complexity. New life circumstances are a part of the discussion because of artificial intelligence (AI), but that cannot mean we abandon the rights and values we treasure. Nor can it mean escaping responsibility for the outcomes. I am here as the Avast Security Ambassador, and Avast is a leading company in AI for use in online security, but I’m also continuing to represent my long personal involvement in the intersection of tech and individual freedom.

You have become quite engaged in AI and human- machine interaction – based perhaps on your experiences of the 1990’s already. Why are you so impassioned by this, and where do you see it all going?

Even the 1980s, the golden age when chess machines were weak and my hair was strong! But yes, since my famous chess matches against IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in the 1990s, I’ve been thinking about human-machine interaction, and how humans and machines can better work together. I’m also passionate about human rights; having grown up in the Soviet Union, and my role as a pro-democracy leader in Russia, I witnessed first-hand how governments abuse information and technology to strengthen their power.

It was therefore a natural fit for me to join Avast as a Security Ambassador. For the past two years, I’ve been writing blog posts for Avast, on how to defend and promote human ethics and values in the digital world.

What are some of the challenges we will be facing – or are already facing, and what will need to be done to face them?

The biggest battle is our own struggle to balance convenience and power of new tech with its downsides for security and privacy. We want all these wonderful tools and toys so much and what we are giving up to get them isn’t always clear, especially in the short run. Making those trade- offs as transparent and understandable as possible is a key for harmony.

Ultimately, consumers need to be aware of the data they share, and carry out security best practices, to keep them secure and protect their privacy. As our lives become increasingly immersed in technology beyond our immediate control we need to stay informed, instead of blindly trusting technology because it seems nice to have.

Where are the biggest opportunities?

AI and machine learning offer enormous opportunities. As machines take over administrative tasks, scientists, for example, can focus on more ambitious research and innovative creations. We will see new achievements in education, medical sciences, the way how we cure diseases, and in space exploration. AI will continue to decode and explain the unseen rules of our world to us if we’re clever enough to ask it the right questions.

To protect AI-based systems, we again need AI-based solutions. AI fake videos can fool humans, but not a better AI. AI-powered security threats will also require AI- powered defences.

How important do you feel it is to have a platform like the IFA+ Summit to foster thought leadership in this field?


Advances in technology are also advances for humankind, if we are wise enough to base technological decisions—and political and regulation decisions too— on human values, without slowing down innovation. It is not enough to have smarter machines, we must also become better humans! We must make sure our brilliant new devices still apply to our timeless ethics and support our human needs for security and privacy. That is, human progress isn’t just better tech, it’s human wellbeing. The IFA+ Summit is a special event because it combines discussions about next generation technology and our society, which should never be separated.

Photo: Garry KasparovAvast Security Ambassador