By Rose Kenny
The 12th International Research Conference (IRC) organised by the Kotalawala Defence University under the theme ‘Challenges to Humankind in the Face of New Technologies’ commenced today (11) and will conclude tomorrow.
Prominent personalities from Pakistan, Indonesia, Maldives, India, Malaysia, UAE, UK, New Zealand, Norway and Japan joined the conference.
Secretary Defence Gen. S.H.S. Kottegoda attended the event as the Chief Guest yesterday. The Navy Commander and Air Force Commander also accompanied the Defence Secretary and the dignitaries were welcomed by the Chancellor of the KDU Admiral Daya Sandagiri and Vice Chancellor Air Vice Marshal HMSKB Kotakadeniya.
Delivering the opening speech at the commencement of the IRC Gen. Kottegoda said technology will have a serious effect on national and international security. “In a world where technology has become power and where power is without wisdom, challenges to humankind is immense. In that backdrop, I congratulate the KDU for selecting this year’s timely theme.”
He noted that technology has penetrated into every aspect of our lives. “Human kind has to continuously advance along with this never ending technological revolution. However, it has brought upon serious consequences to human society. Therefore, as Sri Lankans we also have to face these challenges and find ways and means to cater to these future trends and threats. Governments are forced to renew their strategies and incorporate a vision of technology’s impact on the future. Researchers involved in these designs have an obligation to come up with designs that saves lives and increase the global economy and at the same time they have a responsibility to include moral and ethical aspects into their designs to stop disaster from happening.”
This year the KDU had invited a world renowned Sri Lankan scientist as the keynote speaker of the conference Professor Abhaya Induruwa. Professor Abhaya Induruwa is considered the father of the Internet in Sri Lanka.
Professor Induruwa highlighted the various cyber crimes and the threats and dangers users face in his in-depth presentation. He spoke of emerging cyberspace challenges and the role of cyber intelligence. Pointing out that 3.6 billion people connect to the internet on a daily basis, there is a ever present danger of personal information of users getting into the wrong hands. He also noted that there are an estimated 83 million fake Face Book accounts which most hackers use to steal personal data of users.
The IRC conference is a platform which attracts prominent individuals from both military and civil backgrounds to share their knowledge. KDUIRC is one of the biggest international conferences in the country and the only conference which brings together both military and civil researchers from all three services namely, Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force present their research findings.