Building digital trust in an ever-changing world

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Building digital trust in an ever-changing world

Interview with Martin Vetterli, President of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Lombard Odier is a founding partner of the EPFL Centre for Digital Trust (C4DT), a collaboration between researchers, industry, the public sector and civil society to define and realise a shared vision: re-inventing trust mechanisms that will contribute to prosperous, peaceful societies in the digital age.

The C4DT at EPFL was created to answer the challenges posed by the digitalisation of society and the lack of trust in digital services. Since the notion of trust is fundamental to advanced societies, this is a question that is highly interdisciplinary.

The C4DT at EPFL was created to answer the challenges posed by the digitalisation of society and the lack of trust in digital services

Watch the full interview with Martin Vetterli on the C4DT and using technologies to build a better tomorrow:

In the analogue world, we know exactly what trust is: shaking a hand, recognising a face, signing a physical contract. However, in the digital world, many analogous concepts have yet to be, if not invented, at least deployed in a way such that people actually use them. There are many questions that have ethical, legal, societal and governance components.

To reflect the broad range of questions that the C4DT is designed to tackle, the initiative partners with a range of associates. These include, for instance, the International Committee of the Red Cross, technology companies interested in the field, university hospitals concerned about patient data privacy, and partner universities in Geneva and Lausanne.

As we move into the third decade of the 21st century and beyond, the evolution of digital technology and the applications it enables, such as remote working, artificial intelligence and machine learning, will only continue to accelerate

The C4DT undertakes two main activities. The first encompasses training and networking. For example, the C4DT, with the support of Fondation Lombard Odier, runs a course that introduces the lawyers of NGOs—who may not necessarily have a background in technology—to questions of cybersecurity and data privacy. Second, the C4DT is also an educational institution in the field of technology, with many of its graduates going on to work in a range of industries and NGOs armed with vital knowledge around the kinds of questions that the C4DT was created to address. Additionally, many of the C4DT's experts also serve on committees to share their expertise with public authorities, companies and NGOs.

As we move into the third decade of the 21st century and beyond, the evolution of digital technology and the applications it enables, such as remote working, artificial intelligence and machine learning, will only continue to accelerate. As such, more vital questions around how to use these technologies for the benefit of everyone in society will continue to arise. The work of the C4DT, then, will only become more important in the years ahead.

Important information

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