How much of the world’s technology relies on open source?
In this InTechnology video, Camille talks with guest Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation, and co-host Melissa Evers, Vice President of the Software and Advanced Technology Group at Intel. They get into AI and open-source integration, as well as open-source cybersecurity.
AI and Open Source Integration
Jim begins by discussing the pivotal role of open-source technology in today’s digital landscape, emphasizing that Linux powers approximately 90% of global computers. He attributes this dominance to the high-quality code and cost-effectiveness of open-source solutions in fostering innovation. When delving into AI, Jim notes that open-source components form the backbone of many machine learning and large language model developments. Melissa contributes by underscoring the role of robust governance in the success and security of open-source software projects. Focusing on generative AI and LLMs, Jim challenges developers to explore how these technologies can further enhance open-source platforms. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the context behind AI-generated content for accurate outcomes. Melissa highlights the importance of training software developers to use these advanced AI tools securely and effectively.
The rise of AI has catalyzed the need for more rapid processing capabilities. Jim observes that the supply chain for accelerated computing is currently fragmented, leading to likely reductions in computing costs, increased efficiency, and the development of specialized small AI models. Melissa points out the formation of the AI Alliance, aimed at setting shared goals and priorities for AI initiatives. Jim then emphasizes the necessity of a unified industry voice advocating for the integration of open source in AI.
Open Source Cybersecurity
Discussing the Open Source Security Foundation, Jim explains how modern software integrates numerous open-source components, creating potential security vulnerabilities. The Foundation aims to enhance security measures like software supply chain package signing. Melissa mentions the recent development guiding principles announced at the Open Source Summit Tokyo, reflecting a collective commitment to trust and security in open-source software.
While phishing attacks have decreased, sophisticated attacks on software supply chains are on the rise. Jim’s long-term vision involves minimizing vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the software supply chain. He mentions the Open Source Security Foundation’s collaboration with DARPA to develop AI-based security tools using generative AI. Melissa highlights the Foundation’s scorecard as an effective tool for assessing a codebase’s security posture. Jim points out the current challenge in improving the curation of open-source software.
Regarding security standards, Jim refers to the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Cybersecurity, which specifically includes software bill of materials. This has led to industry consensus on the SPDX standard for software bill of materials (SBOMs). Melissa discusses the development of competing standards, influenced by emerging technologies and commercial interests, and the challenges in creating next-generation standards that accommodate evolving technologies and usage models.
Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation
Since 2004, Jim Zemlin has served as the Executive Director of The Linux Foundation. Throughout his career, he has concentrated on areas such as mobile computing, cloud computing, and the development of open-source software. Recognized for his insightful industry views, Jim is a regular keynote speaker at various technology conferences. He holds board positions at the Global Economic Symposium, Open Source for America, and the Chinese Open Source Promotion Union.
Melissa Evers, Vice President of the Software and Advanced Technology Group, General Strategy to Execution at Intel
Melissa Evers has held the position of Vice President in the Software and Advanced Technology Group, overseeing General Strategy to Execution at Intel since 2021. Her experience at Intel spans over twenty years. In her career, Melissa has occupied numerous high-level roles, including various vice president, director, and managerial positions. She has been a member of The Linux Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2019 and served as the Governing Board Chair for LF Edge from 2018 to 2021. Additionally, Melissa is a board member of the Technology Association of Oregon and serves on the Corporate Champion Council Board at The University of Texas at Austin. She is also involved in the Future Ready Oregon – Technology Industry Consortium Board, part of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Academically, Melissa holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Texas McCombs School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
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The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.
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