Friday, August 4, 2017

Rise of Machines


Since 19th century and  through the emergence of advanced machines human being lifes started to become easier. With the arrival of this equipment able to complete autonomous asks, the life turned easier than ever. Nevertheless, fear of the unknown led to the so called luddite. This was the begging of what Asimov called later "The Frankenstein legacy", referring to the fear that human deeds could turn against their creators. Something that seems to be deeply rooted in the collective unconscious. 

With the arrival of the information age this fear has grown for years, leading to the consideration of the creation of any kind of artificial intelligence as a menace. But, is this fear rational or irrational? Today we will check it in our weekly review...

We discovered that this week Facebook had to turn off two robots which started to communicate in a language created by themselves. The machines, which objective was to create an artificial intelligence able to learn and develop new negotiation tactics developed a language almost impossible to decode but that was logic for its tasks. This "anomaly" places a problem over the table: Its possible that in the future we will not be able to understand communication between machines. What would happen then? 

This is not only the example of the advances obtained in the Artificial Intelligence field. In the last DEF CON the Data Science Director, Hyrum Anderson, showed to the attendants how Elon Musk´s Open AI was able to create a malware that the best antivirus could not detect. The System learned to adjust its binary codes to get through the antivirus and once accomplished it the malware executed itself. An easy way to defeat a basic defense line. 


But thinking that machines are responsible of all our problems would be hiding the truth. In most cases, the major contributors to the cyberworld tragedies are flesh and blood beings . We can find a perfect example in the new Leagoo and Nomu. As Dr. Web informed last Tuesday that the new Leagoo M8, Leagoo M5 Plus, Nomu S10 and Nomu S20 included insatalled malware as a gift.

And it has not been the only release of the week with extra "features". The day after we discovered that the new Shenzhen Neo Electronics cameras where easily hackable to every cybercriminal with some knowledge. 

Reading this news we could ask, this failures are the result of...? The same question we asked early this week when Microsoft announced that was not going to patch a vulnerability because every user could do it from his computer. It would be easy to think that Bill Gates´ company doesn't want to fix this mistake because of carelessness or lack of capacity but, what if it is a way to force the users to roll up their sleeves? We leave this question hanging in the air. 

The human being fear the unknown and seeing how fast the world evolves it´s natural that we feel scared reading this kind of news. But the uses and goals of artificial intelligence will be still defined by us, so if the machines rise, maybe it will be our responsibility. How can we avoid it? Being informed and acting on that knowledge.

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