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Max Van Kleek secures PETRAS funding for RED-AID project


Max Van Kleek is Project Lead on a RED-AID, one of seven new projects which are being funded by The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity  PETRAS’s work considers issues of Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability, Trust and Security as they apply to IoT systems and networks, as well as associated technologies at the edge, such as AI and Machine Learning.

The projects which have been chosen all look to tackle social and technical challenges of emerging technologies by transforming academic knowledge into practice.

the RED-AID project utilises AI technology to help individuals with impaired autonomy, e.g. a person with dementia, who can be especially vulnerable to voice-based social engineering attacks. Attackers are finding ways to use voice-based conversations for malicious intent that can involve taking victims’ data and encouraging them to download malware. Research suggests that, as AI systems are being applied by adversaries for automated open-source intelligence (OSINT) and execution, these attacks will become even more effective. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remain one of the top targets for such attacks.

RED-AID Project Lead Prof Max Van Kleek at Oxford University and Co-Investigator Dr Peter Novitzky explained: ‘Phone fraud (aka ‘vishing’) accounts for one of the most significant types of crime against individuals in the UK, and has become a huge source of personal financial loss. Yet, people have few defences against this form of crime, which are becoming even more effective through AI-powered methods and techniques. With the support of Howz, a company with an extensive portfolio of IoT devices for assistive ambient living in the home, our multi-disciplinary research team will involve key stakeholders in its design and development to ensure the device is not only effective, but respects individuals’ autonomy, privacy, and dignity at all stages.  Our collaboration across the socio-technical landscape aims to not only contribute to the responsible development of a novel AI-based technology addressing a pressing societal challenge, but also to contribute to the formulation of a more widely applicable ethical design framework for ambient assistive devices in the home.’