Morgan State University’s AI and Cybersecurity Centers Promote Equity and Safety

Morgan State University's AI and Cybersecurity Centers Promote Equity and Safety | CyberPro Magazine

( Source – Morgan State University )

Addressing the Promise and Perils of AI

AI and Cybersecurity centers promote equity and safety, Artificial intelligence (AI) promises a world of convenience and efficiency, from voice-activated assistants to self-driving cars. However, beneath the surface lies a landscape fraught with risks. Concerns abound regarding the potential for job displacement, increased susceptibility to sophisticated cyberattacks, and the proliferation of misinformation. Moreover, AI algorithms, if not carefully developed, can perpetuate biases and discrimination, exacerbating societal inequalities. Recognizing these challenges, Morgan State University (MSU) is pioneering efforts to harness AI responsibly and ethically.

Combatting Algorithmic Bias with CEAMLS

At the Center for Equitable Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems (CEAMLS), researchers are tackling the pervasive issue of algorithmic bias. Director Kofi Nyarko emphasizes that biased data can yield discriminatory outcomes, as seen in the case of an algorithm predicting criminal recidivism. CEAMLS is developing innovative solutions to promote fairness and transparency in AI systems. By creating its fairness model and implementing an ethical framework, the center aims to mitigate biases during algorithm development and deployment. Additionally, CEAMLS is constructing a workbench to evaluate commercially available AI models for biases, ensuring equitable access to AI technologies.

Strengthening Cybersecurity with the CAP Center

Meanwhile, the Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy (CAP) Center at MSU is focused on fortifying defenses against cyber threats. As the Internet of Things expands, interconnected devices become vulnerable to hacking, posing significant security risks. Director Kevin Kornegay highlights the importance of securing devices at the edge, where many attacks occur. The CAP Center evaluates vulnerabilities across devices, networks, and cloud systems, striving to maintain operational integrity and resilience. Through initiatives like the “car on a bench” project, researchers analyze and enhance the security of connected devices, ensuring robust cybersecurity measures in an increasingly interconnected world.

Cultivating Diversity in AI and Cybersecurity

MSU recognizes the critical importance of diversity in shaping the future of AI and cybersecurity. By fostering a diverse student body and providing comprehensive educational opportunities, MSU empowers underrepresented groups to contribute meaningfully to these fields. Programs like GenCyber and the Pre-Freshman Accelerated Curriculum in Engineering (PACE) offer hands-on learning experiences to middle and high school students, nurturing their interest in cybersecurity and AI. At the Ph.D. level, internships provide invaluable opportunities for students to engage with real-world challenges and forge connections with industry leaders. 

Through these initiatives, MSU cultivates a new generation of AI and cybersecurity professionals equipped with diverse perspectives and skills, ensuring inclusivity and equity in the digital age.

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