I remember reading this quote not long ago from Vladimir Putin: the nation that leads in AI ‘will be the ruler of the world’. At first I was pretty skeptical, but my eyes started to open widely when I watched a recent story on CBS 60 minutes and then read a story this Monday morning on in the Washington Post.
But first how many of us have answered the phone and said hello and perhaps more with no response? Is someone recording voices for a future A.I. attack on our finances, our reputation or our safety? How many of us have recorded our voices on Facebook or other social media? Today online tools to replicate your voice are very inexpensive and as a result someone could be planning to impersonate you at any moment.
Now for the story from Canada reported in the Washington Post on March 4. 2023. A man called Ruth Card in Regina, Saskatchewan and sounded just like her grandson. He said he was in jail with no wallet or cell phone and needed money for bail. Fortunately Card and her husband found out at a bank of a similar scam and didn’t fall for it, but not all voice impersonations scams have a happy ending. Just last year the Federal Trade Commission reported 36,000 imposter scams resulting in over $11 Million in losses.
Now here is the real scary part. Some are predicting that Artificial intelligence can be used to develop cyber weapons, and control autonomous tools like drone swarms — fleets of low-cost quadcopters with a shared ‘brain’ that can be deployed without mercy. If that happens Putin predicts “When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.
The Artificial Intelligence industry is moving faster than anyone can keep up with it including law makers in Washington who don’t know how to respond to both the benefits and threats that come with A.I. Yes we need to talk about A.I. and it’s time to ask our leaders what can we do to confront this growing threat to the security of all of us.
cover by Dennis Sylvester Hurd, Wikimedia Creative Commons