Ready for the autonomous apocalypse? Weaponized artificial intelligence is set to make headlines in 2018 for the first time.
According to Mike Lynch, Britain’s Bill Gates, as early as 2018 humanity can begin to expect things like totally autonomous weaponized artificial intelligence that delivers its blows slowly, stealthily and virtually without trace.
These mechanisms, once released, are not controlled. Instead, they operate independently of direction, deep within enemy territory. Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing, and according to Mike Lynch;
“In 2018, we can expect these algorithmic presences to use their intelligence to learn about their environments and blend in with the daily commotion of network activity. The drivers of these automated attacks may have a defined target – the blueprint designs of a new type of jet engine, say – or persist opportunistically, where the chance for money- or mischief-making avails itself. As they sustain their presence, they grow stronger in their inside knowledge of the network and its users, and they build up control over data and entire systems.
Like the HIV, which is so pernicious because it uses the body’s own defenses to replicate itself, these new machine intelligence will target the very defenses deployed against it. They will learn how the firewall works, the analytics models used to detect attacks and times of day that the security team is in the office. They will then adapt to avoid and weaken them. All the while, it will use its strength to spread, creating inroads for compromise and contaminating devices with brutal efficiency.
AI will also attack us by impersonating people. We already have AI assistants that do our scheduling, email on our behalf and ask us what we’d like to order for lunch. But what happens if your AI assistant gets taken over by a malicious attacker? Or, indeed, what happens when weaponized AI is refined enough to convincingly impersonate a real person who you trust?
A stealthy, long-term AI presence on your network will have ample time to learn what your writing style is and how this differs depending on who you email, your contact base and the distinctions in professional and personal relationships based on the language you use and key themes in your conversations.
For example, you email your partner five times a day, particularly in the morning and afternoon. They sign their emails “X”. Your football team emails weekly with details for Saturday’s five-a-side games. They sign emails “Be there!”. This is fodder for AI.
As to what we should do about these malicious AIs: they will be too clever and stealthy to combat other than with other AIs. This is one arena we’ll have to give up control, not take it back.”
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