Humans of RMIT: Duy Dang-Pham

Dr Duy Dang-Pham, RMIT alumnus and Senior Program Manager at RMIT School of Science and Technology, Vietnam

I actually did my PhD in cybersecurity management (Business Information Systems) in Melbourne and through that I started to get interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and also digital transformation.

When I returned to Vietnam in 2018, I started looking at how businesses, especially here in Vietnam, are trying to apply AI in their operations, and focused on understanding the opportunities and challenges that they may face in doing so.

And so, while a lot of businesses have been trying to incorporate AI, there are a lot of companies who have still not adapted AI and there are a number of reasons for that, including a skills and workforce shortage in AI. But another barrier lies in a lack of understanding or even trust in how AI reaches its results and recommendations.

This has led me to really start focusing on explainable AI. You will notice that we use AI increasingly for decision making and predicting outcomes, but often all we see is just the results or the recommendation. What is often missing is the part that explains how the AI has come up with that recommendation and that is where explainable AI comes in. I believe this process of explaining and understanding AI is really important in helping companies adapt AI into their businesses.

At the moment, I’m also actually investigating the concept of explainable cybersecurity. So, I’m adapting the concept of explainable AI and using it in the context of cybersecurity, because one of the common problems in cybersecurity management and privacy is that although it’s really critical for business, when it comes to training employees, it can often be challenging because it is something that adds a burden to their work.

The problem I’ve identified lies in the notion that organisational cybersecurity is not always explainable and so we need to find new ways to explain cybersecurity and explain the importance of cybersecurity to employees in a more convincing way which involves a set of techniques which I am investigating right now.

So, I guess for me, while I understand that technology is very cool and very fascinating and it has a lot of practical implications for industry and business, and in life, if you cannot explain them or teach them to the lay people and allow many people to understand them, then they are just useless.

I guess that is my main motivation for my interest in learning how to teach and explain technologies, because it allows for greater adoption of those technologies.