Sunday, April 08, 2018

Elon Musk - You're worried about the wrong thing.

I'm watching the movie about the dangers of AI that Elon Musk is sponsoring the streaming of for the weekend.... but as I watch it I can't help but keep thinking that there's a bigger issue that everyone has ignored....

There's a lot to be concerned about here, but the thing that everyone seems to miss, over and over, is the fact that we can't secure our computers against humans, let alone an AI with infinite patience. A few years ago, all of the 128 page security clearance applications for the entire United States were digitized, and online.... who was stupid enough to let this happen? Everyone was surprised and shocked when it happened, but I bet most of you don't even remember it any more.

All this data is eventually accessible via the internet, and there's shit for security protecting it. One lucky rogue human is all it takes to take the whole thing down. I'd be deeply surprised if someone, somewhere, isn't training an AI to take over compute resources.... and once that gets sufficiently good, it's game over, because nothing is secure.

It's possible to radically increase security, and do it in a user friendly manner... but this requires re-writing everything based on a new security model. (The principle of least privilege), so it's not a "magic bullet", but rather an expensive one.

I hope we decide to spend the resources and fix security... but it's a faint hope.