When AI Becomes the Hacker
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Schneier will discuss his AI hacker research in a keynote address on Monday at the 2021 RSA Conference, which, due to the pandemic, is being held online rather than in person in San Francisco. The AI topic is based on a recent essay he wrote for the Cyber Project and Council for the Responsible Use of AI at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School.
The core question Schneier asks is this: What if artificial intelligence systems could hack social, economic, and political systems at the computer scale, speed, and range such that humans couldn’t detect it in time and suffered the consequences? Schneier says it’s not so much AIs “breaking into” systems, but AIs creating their own solutions. “AI comes up with a hack and a vulnerability, and then humans look at it and say, ‘That’s good,'” and use it as a way to make money, like with hedge funds in the financial sector, he says.
The irony here, of course, is that AI starts with human input and programming. Frankenstein analogies aside, the core problem is that AI doesn’t have the same human cognitive functions like empathy or a gut check to know where to draw the line. Schneier notes that while there’s plenty of research on incorporating context, ethics, and values into AI programs, it’s not a built-in function of today’s AI systems.It’s where AIs evolve into “the creative process of finding hacks.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 15, 2021 at 11:12 AM #423470KenTankerousParticipant
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Otherwise you get Skynet, or Colossus, The Corbin Project.
"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States."
- Henry A. Wallace
(FDR's Vice President until he was forced out by the corrupt forces of obscene wealth.)
May 15, 2021 at 3:34 PM #423487soryangParticipant
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A few things came to mind. The loopholes are designed in tax legislation before its passed and becomes law. I guess there could be a few inadvertent loopholes to be exploited by AI that weren’t intended for particular parties, but this is kind of “look over there not here” problem. On the financial side, Wall Street firms have been front running the markets for a long time now with computer programs, so I guess the fear is, interlopers could make inroads into the oligarchs domain.
As far as AI becoming the hacker, I think they are already doing this. Part of this is suppression of free speech. Some malware program took control of my blog for a temporary period last night and completely disabled it. Imo because I was criticizing various sacred cows.
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