November 24, 2016
Can artificial intelligence dupe you out of your phone number? Your social security number? Your mother’s maiden name? Your money? The quick answer is YES. Criminal programmers are actively whipping up A.I. algorithms capable of mimicking human voices that sound like they are coming from real people—natural, intimate, relaxed and chatty. And these well-crafted algorithms are designed to trigger human endocrine systems into releasing oxytocin, the sex, love and trust hormone. What did you say your mother’s maiden name was?
No, this is not a joke or some cute parlor game. It is serious stuff. Pseudo-charming bots and avatars with criminal intentions can bring you to ruin. Machine made vision algorithms are being designed to read your minds and trigger your oxytocin in voices phenomenally similar to your favorite people.
It’s a synthesized masquerade. A.I. science is rapidly advancing and scaling. Of course most A.I. is not designed to do harm but make no mistake; there bad bots out there that can make your life miserable. It has become such an issue that a new research center at Carnegie Mellon University will be focusing on the ethics of A.I. Named the K&L Gates Endowment for Ethics and Computational Technologies, its job will be to make determinations defining the ethical constraints on emerging A. I. technologies.
Think of the movie The Wizard of OZ. OZ has two witches, the good witch and the bad witch. The good witch AKA “Glinda” lives down in the south in her palace and can usually be found holding forth from her throne of rubies waving her wand around making great things happen. But, when she has to travel she does so in a magic bubble undoubtedly guided by magical algorithms. Personally I can’t wait until she makes all of the cars of the world operate via perfect A.I. Just think, no more accidents and all of that additional texting time. “Glinda the good driver” never sounded better, right?
Then there is the Wicked Witch of the West. The list of bad things she can do to you is as long as it is disconcerting. “HAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA! I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!” She is bad. Oxytocin doesn’t run in her veins.
Evil bots are everywhere. For example, the new Facebook friend you just acquired could easily be an evil bot designed to get to know you better. It wants to know how much money you make, what you might want to buy, what color you might want to buy it in, who you probably want to love, where you might want to take them on vacation, what kind of movies the two of you have grown to like, what kind of books you read—if you read, the list is endless. The ultimate goal of course is monetizing their bottom line. Face it, Facebook is an advertising agency masquerading as your friendly little school yard, all hits and giggles.
This is actually the perfect time to inform you that the green (Jivo) chat box at the bottom of this page is not a bad-witch bot but is a 100% real person responding to you in real-time. Feel free to test his or her ability to understand and satisfy your needs. Ask us anything. For example, if you need to know something specific about our oxytocin formulation, just ask. Our box is not a bot that will attempt to socially engineer you into divulging information that is not pertinent to your wellbeing or interests.
The ultimate goal of good artificial intelligence is to make your life simpler, easier. Bad bots are designed to exploit the best qualities of being a trusting empathetic person. Beware; if you are not paying attention they can and will grab your information and manipulate your life in bad ways.