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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 9)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, an ISACA blogger says AI needs women, a coalition of companies comes together to teach women how to write computer code, and more.

ISACA Blogger: Artificial Intelligence Development Teams Need Women

 

Women are needed to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence.For a variety of reasons, there's a persistent drumbeat in the information technology (IT) realm that women are vastly underrepresented in the global IT workforce. One key reason is simply that more IT workers are critically needed overall, and the labor pool of working women remains largely untapped in most computer- and tech-related occupations. A new post to the ISACA Now blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA, however, points to an even more critical factor that demands the active recruitment of women into IT. In particular, guest blogger Kim Dale underlines the need to involve women in the development of artificial intelligence. AI could shape numerous aspects of daily life for generations to come, but the human perspective that has been built into AI for decades is almost exclusively male. One of the more immediately and conspicuously evident biases that is already part and parcel of the IT realm, Dale points out, is the clearly gendered character of voice-activated digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. Even Google Home, which doesn't have a friendly human nickname, responds in the voice of woman unless you change its settings. (Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry probably seeded this particular bias in the 1980s by having the ship's computer of the Enterprise speak in the voice of his wife, Majel Barret Roddenberry, on Star Trek: The Next Generation.) The conversation about bias in AI is getting louder, and it's probably past time for everyone to listen.

 

CompTIA Highlights Important New Department of Defense Digits

 

There's bad news ahead for Rikki, Billy, and everyone else who has been told to not lose or forget a particular number: Uncle Sam is changing his tune. As noted in a recent post to the official blog of tech industry association CompTIA, number rememberers everywhere will soon need to switch from 8750 to 8140. That's because the U.S. Department of Defense is changing the labeling of the long-lived and eagerly-chased standard that lays out IT certification parameters for contract employees and other government personnel. The official directive to change and renumber the familiar DoD standard was actually issued in 2017, but the expanded 8140 manual that will include a list of acceptable IT certifications still hasn't been published. If the pending change is of interest to you either for hiring or certification reasons, then the CompTIA post does an excellent job of explaining what's at stake.

 

(ISC)² Launches Registration for Upcoming Security Congress Event

 

Since we're already on the topic of distant future deadlines, this is probably good time to mention that cybersecurity professional association (ISC)² has opened registration for its yearly Security Congress event, to be held (COVID-19 pandemic-permitting) Nov. 16-18 in Orlando, Fla. This is the milestone 10th annual Security Congress, and (ISC)² is anticipating attendance of more than 3,000 cybersecurity professionals from countries around the world. The three-day core conference will be preceded, per the Security Congress norm, by a two-day professional development session featuring training, CPE, and certification opportunities. If you are cost conscious in your conferencegoing, then the window to take action is now: a notable early-bird registration discount is available through April 15.