6/28/2015 - AI machine gets testy with programmer
June 28, 2015 – Wall Street Journal
By Amir Mizroch
Researchers have shown that machines are inching closer to self-learning, and perhaps even copping a little attitude.
Over at Google, a computer program using a database of movie scripts was asked again and again by researchers to define morality. It struggles to do so, and in a conversation recorded by its human engineers, becomes exasperated and ends the conversation by lashing out at its human inquisitor.
Here’s part of the exchange, as related in a paper presented this week:
Human: Tell me the definition of morality.
Machine: I don’t have ethics.
Human: Look, I need help; I need to know more about morality…
Machine: I don’t know what ethics is.
Human: Okay, I need to know how I should behave morally…
Machine: I don’t know how to tell you.
Human: Be moral!
Machine: Be a man!
Human: I really like our discussion on morality and ethics…
Machine: And how I’m not in the mood for a philosophical debate.
Human: What do you like to talk about?
6/22/2015 - A disaster foretold — and ignored
By Craig Timberg
The seven young men sitting before some of Capitol Hill’s most powerful lawmakers weren’t graduate students or junior analysts from some think tank. No, Space Rogue, Kingpin, Mudge and the others were hackers who had come from the mysterious environs of cyberspace to deliver a terrifying warning to the world.
Your computers, they told the panel of senators in May 1998, are not safe — not the software, not the hardware, not the networks that link them together. The companies that build these things don’t care, the hackers continued, and they have no reason to care because failure costs them nothing. And the federal government has neither the skill nor the will to do anything about it.
“If you’re looking for computer security, then the Internet is not the place to be,” said Mudge, then 27 and looking like a biblical prophet with long brown hair flowing past his shoulders. The Internet itself, he added, could be taken down “by any of the seven individuals seated before you” with 30 minutes of well-choreographed keystrokes.
The senators — a bipartisan group including John Glenn, Joseph I. Lieberman and Fred D. Thompson — nodded gravely, making clear that they understood the gravity of the situation. “We’re going to have to do something about it,” Thompson said.
What happened instead was a tragedy of missed opportunity, and 17 years later the world is still paying the price in rampant insecurity.
The testimony from L0pht, as the hacker group called itself, was among the most audacious of a rising chorus of warnings delivered in the 1990s as the Internet was exploding in popularity, well on its way to becoming a potent global force for communication, commerce and criminality.
Hackers and other computer experts sounded alarms as the World Wide Web brought the transformative power of computer networking to the masses. This created a universe of risks for users and the critical real-world systems, such as power plants, rapidly going online as well.
Officials in Washington and throughout the world failed to forcefully address these problems as trouble spread across cyberspace, a vast new frontier of opportunity and lawlessness. Even today, many serious online intrusions exploit flaws in software first built in that era, such as Adobe Flash, Oracle’s Java and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
“We have the same security problems,” said Space Rogue, whose real name is Cris Thomas. “There’s a lot more money involved. There’s a lot more awareness. But the same problems are still there.” (read full article)
6/16/2015 - When secret government talks are hacked
June 16, 2015 – Phys.org
By Carsten Maple
Hotel rooms aren’t as private as they used to be. Recent reports suggest luxury hotels may have been targeted by national intelligence services trying to spy on negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.
The talks weren’t bugged in the traditional way of hiding microphones in the room. Instead, hackers infected hotel computers with a computer virus that its discoverers say may have been used to gather information from the hotels’ security cameras and phones.
The virus was discovered by cyber-security firm Kaspersky Labs when the company itself was infected by a sophisticated worm known as Duqu2. Kaspersky went about investigating which other systems around the world might have been attacked. Among the huge range of systems they checked, thousands of hotel systems were analysed. Most of these had not been subjected to an attack, but three luxury European hotels had also been hit by Duqu2.
Each was compromised before hosting key negotiations between Iran and world leaders regarding the country’s nuclear programme. Having previously been accused by the US of spying on the talks, Israel – which was not involved in the discussions – is now under suspicion of (and denies) deploying the virus.
Hacking a hotel room
Of course, full details of exactly what information has been leaked will take some time to understand. As we saw when Sony was hacked, further revelations are likely to emerge over time. What is apparent is that parts of the worm were designed to compress video, and others to collect communications data from phones and Wi-Fi networks.
Many hotels, especially luxury ones, use computerised camera surveillance and have many other sensor devices collecting and transmitting data, such as smart TVs. The fact that these three hotels were all scheduled to hold very sensitive talks before being attacked by highly sophisticated malware is unlikely to be a coincidence.
There are a number of ways the worm could have been spread to the hotel computer systems. Viruses can, of course, be sent as attachments to emails and often spread in this way. Up-to-date security software can stop most known viruses. But in cases such as this, where the malware and the vulnerability it exploits were previously unknown, the virus is not detected and so can infect the machine. (read full article …)
6/15/2015 - Theft Of Social Security Numbers Is Broader ...
June 15, 2015 – NPR
By Aarti Shahani
As cyberattacks continue, analysts are seeing a new pattern: Hackers are focused on stealing personally identifiable information. That includes the security clearances of U.S. intelligence officers, with the reported theft of background information. It also includes information that’s less sensitive but far-reaching — like Social Security numbers.
In an interview with NPR’s Audie Cornish, NPR’s Aarti Shahani took a look at just how many Americans’ Social Security numbers have been stolen so far, and what’s being done about it. …
So the problem of theft has changed by orders of magnitude, but just because your number was stolen doesn’t mean you’re a victim of identity theft?
Correct. The number of victims is definitely smaller. But we don’t have a great estimate on how many people have actually been harmed. That’ll unfold over time.
One key detail: The burden falls on you to vigilantly monitor if you are a victim. The Social Security Administration has a policy: You can’t change your Social Security number just because it’s been stolen. You need proof it’s been abused. SSA is strict about it. In all of 2014, they replaced only 250 Social Security numbers based on misuse and disadvantage. (read full article …)
6/11/2015 - Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence?
June 11, 2015 – Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
By Hank Pellissier
Why? Because rational, focused machines are more efficient at these tasks; they’re cheaper to employ and less error-prone.
Should AI also replace politicians?
The frequently-psychopathic bureaucrats that govern our lives?The baby-hugging, back-slapping, wheeler-dealer manipulators that frequently flood our media with scandals, corruption, stupidity, sexting, and crime?
Can AI do better than that? Or not?
The average person’s reaction to AI Rule is “No! That’s Dangerous!” Most homo sapiens are terrified of AI Leadership; they regard machine decisions as cold, mechanical, lacking the “human touch.” They fear AI will eradicate or enslave all warm-bloods, or force us into lives that are as precise and boring as theirs.
The topic of AI Political Leadership is complicated; this essay will examine only a fraction of it. Let’s start by scrutinizing three of the destructive weakness that plague all humans, and are frequently amplified in our leaders. These “tragic flaws” create huge suffering in the populations the leaders govern.
(I’m not an AI researcher, so I’ll conclude this essay with comments from Mark Waser, an Ethical System Architect at the Digital Wisdom Group, a team that wants “Machine Intelligence Enhancing Common Sense.”)
Vanity – Humans have egos that need to be constantly fed. Our “self esteem” is intrinsically important to us. IMO human ego, pride, and competitive desire for dominance is the main reason “fleshies” can be considered inferior to machines as leaders.
Vanity, pride and ambition impelled Julius Ceasar to cross the Rubicon, obliterate the Republic, and install himself as dictator in perpetuity. The humiliated ego of Adolf Hitler and post-Treaty of Versailles Germany created World War II. In recent months, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had a 1,100 room palace constructed for himself, at the exorbitant cost of $615 million. He is regularly defined as “power hungry and “arrogant.
Artificial Intelligence “politicians” would not require the emotional need to inflate their egos via conquering wars and lavish monuments. They could devote their time to mundane tasks we programmed them to do, like improving infrastructure, and developing safety, health, and prosperity. (read full article…)
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