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Harnessing the Power of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Good in Canada

Ulrike  Bahr-Gedalia 

Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation, Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Council Lead, Cyber.Right.Now.

Marjorie Dickman

Chief Government Affairs & Public Policy Officer, BlackBerry


A conversation with BlackBerry’s Marjorie Dickman on Generative AI, Cybersecurity, and Trust.

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Cyber. Right. Now. Council Lead, interviews tech policy thought leader Marjorie Dickman, Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer at BlackBerry. They discuss one of today’s hottest topics: Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia: Why is BlackBerry — a global leader in cybersecurity software — interested in generative AI? 

Marjorie Dickman: Generative AI gives cybersecurity experts like BlackBerry new capabilities to prevent cyberattacks. At the same time, cyber attackers can use generative AI to make cyberattacks more sophisticated and harder to detect.

At BlackBerry, we’ve used AI to enable our cybersecurity software for over a decade. And now, we are developing cybersecurity use cases for generative AI to augment our cyber defense solutions.

Bahr-Gedalia: We’ve seen an explosion of interest in generative AI. Experts assert that this technology could add trillions of dollars to the global economy. Yet, many entities seem hesitant to adopt it. Why?

Dickman: A recent BlackBerry survey of 2,000 IT decisionmakers found that 75 per cent of organisations worldwide are considering bans on generative AI applications in the workplace. Our research found the potential risk of data security and privacy to be the biggest reasons (67 per cent) for this hesitancy. 

That said, the many studies that highlight the transformative potential of generative AI are right, if this technology is implemented safely and securely.  This is one of BlackBerry’s key focus areas.

Bahr-Gedalia: According to KPMG, only 32 per cent of Canadians say they trust AI, citing cybersecurity as their top concern. How do we build public trust in generative AI?

Dickman: Trust in generative AI on a grand scale will require a collaborative effort among governments, developers of generative AI models, civil society — and companies like BlackBerry that provide security to safeguard data, devices, and networks. 

In Canada, work is underway to advance a voluntary code of practice for generative AI to help ensure it is trustworthy, secure, and reliable. We are participating in this effort.

In Canada, work is underway to advance a voluntary code of practice for generative AI to help ensure it is trustworthy, secure, and reliable. We are participating in
this effort.

Notably, the development of actual regulations will take years. As with all novel technology, it will be critical to strike the right balance to allow generative AI to evolve in a beneficial way for Canada, while also ensuring security and privacy.

Bahr-Gedalia: Bad actors likely are using generative AI in cyberattacks against Canada. How do we safeguard Canadians from this threat? 

Dickman: In February 2023, another BlackBerry-commissioned survey of global IT decisionmakers found that most of these decisionmakers believe that there will be a successful cyberattack enabled by generative AI within the year.

To safeguard Canadians, the nation should prioritize safety and security from the outset, especially in high-risk applications, while balancing against the potential of overly prescriptive regulation that can stifle innovation. Then, Canada will be strongly positioned to harness the power of generative AI for good, including using these new tools to protect the nation from increasingly complex cybersecurity attacks.  


To learn more about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce‘s Cybersecurity initiatives and efforts, visit chamber.ca/cyber-right-now. To learn more about BlackBerry’s AI driven cybersecurity solutions, visit blackberry.com/us/en/products/blackberry-cybersecurity.

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