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Skynet Gambit- At The Brink

Summary

The nexus of AI with IoT presents heretofore unforeseen risks to life and safety.

The Internet of Things build-out is well underway and will change our world in powerful, yet subtle ways.

We consider what should be done to address these risks.

Let me declare at the outset that this article has been tough to write. I am by birthright an American, an optimist and a true believer in our innovative genius and its power to drive better lives for us and the world around us. I’ve grown up in the mellow sunshine of Moore’s law, and lived first hand in a world of unfettered innovation and creativity. That is why it is so difficult to write the following sentence:

It’s time for federal regulation of AI and IoT technologies.

I say that reluctantly but with growing certainty. I have come to believe that we share a moral obligation to act now in order to protect our children and grandchildren. We need to take this moment, wake up, and listen to the voices that are warning us that the confluence of technologies that power the AI revolution are advancing so rapidly that they pose a clear and present danger to our lives and well-being

So why? How did we get to this moment? Like me, you’ve probably been aware of the warnings of well-known luminaries like Elon MuskBill Gates, Stephen Hawking and many others, and, like me, you have probably noted their commentary but moved on to consider the next investment opportunity. Personally, being the optimist that I am, I certainly respected those arguments but believed even more strongly that we would innovate ourselves out of the danger zone. So why the change? Two words - one name - Bruce Schneier.

If you have been interested in the fields of cryptology and computer security, you have no doubt heard his name. Now with IBM (NYSE:IBM) as its chief spokesperson on security, he is a noted author and contributor to current thinking on the entire gamut of issues that confront us in this new era of the cloud, IoT, and Internet-based threats to personal privacy and computer system integrity. Mr. Schneier’s seminal talk at the recent RSA conference brought it all into focus for me, and I encourage you to watch it. I will briefly recap his argument and then work out some of the consequences that flow from Schneier’s argument. So here goes.

Grateful for this By- William Tidwell