Artificial Intelligent Avatars
Perhaps, you are unaware but there is an advanced research division for future technologies assigned to the US Government intelligence agencies and industrial intelligence complex. It’s called IARPA and it is an ingenious concept based on the DARPA model; High Risk – High Gain approach to advanced research and development. That makes sense right, especially considering we live in a world fraught with cyber hackers, corporate espionage, and terrorists. This means our intelligence agencies must be on the ball, and they have to be right 100% of the time while the evil-doers only have to get it right once you see.
Now then, consider if you will the massive amount of data we are collecting on individual citizens these days online. Not only that, but everyone now has a smart phone, an e-mail address, and perhaps a few social networking pages. Folks also make comments on articles they read in the media into little boxes and press the submit button. Since it is quite easy to figure out who someone is based on their ISP address, their social networking profile, their cell phone number, and the way they write – it is very easy to do an assessment of the individual to see if they might be a threat risk.
Today, the artificial intelligent computers which collect all this data have not been optimized or programmed all that well, and therefore they are flagging far too many false positives. However each time an individual gets away with a crime against humanity, a terrorist act, a hacking event, a criminal act, or even spying the authorities can go back and look at their methods of operation, their writings, and gain clues into the human psyche that goes along with such folks. And each time the artificial intelligent computers get better at guesstimating within a close tolerance of probability the type of individuals they are looking for – the better they will work. If you were IARPA wouldn’t you be looking into this?
Okay so, since this has all but going on quite a long time it makes sense that these artificial intelligent computers are getting rather good at the Lone Wolf assessment (Lone Wolf might be someone like the Unabomber for instance). Think of the lone wolf as the hardest type of terrorist to locate, someone that works alone, has very little communication with the outside world, detailed plans that are never shared with anyone, and therefore few clues to give them away, or few associates, Facebook friends, or collaborators to turn them in. Therefore it is very hard to get into their minds and find out what they’re thinking without contacting them under the auspice of some important reason other than the actual surveillance.
In other words it takes manpower, and a very good story to even get to a point to talk to such an individual. However because everyone is connected now and everyone has the ability to be geo-tracked, and has an e-mail address, or a Facebook page there are many ways to make contact with these individuals. The only problem with that is manpower. Therefore it’s obvious that in the future artificial intelligent computers, true artificial intelligence as per Alan Turing’s famous AI test (the ability of a computer to fool a human into thinking that it is actually conversing with another human) – will contact these individuals and start up some sort of conversation.
The best way to do this will be for the artificial intelligent computer to sift through all of the data, including all of the writings that may have been posted in forums, in response to online media articles, and all of the postings on blogs, and social networking pages. From there the artificial intelligent computer can use the individual’s own words, and modify those sentences using similar words with the same meaning from a thesaurus, within the database of the AI software program – and this AI computer will be able to talk to the individual on a one-on-one basis.
In doing so, the AI computer will be gathering information from that conversation along with anything that the individual types back in an e-mail. All that can then be loaded into a database and added to all the collected words already written, or spoken into a cell phone, as long as the intelligence agencies have received the right to listen in. Of course, all the public information will not need a permission slip or court subpoena. It is quite possible that eventually these AI systems will be able to correspond with the individual from time to time, checking in on their psychological displacement, or progress, further assessing if they have increased the possible risk of committing a violent act, or if that individual will be downgraded to a different level.
When the individual gets to the upper level, and it appears that they are either willing or ready to commit such an act, that’s when human intervention can take place, and only if they become a threat to society or our government within a strong probability, mathematically speaking. Over time better algorithms will be used and through practice better techniques will be learned to ensure there are very few false positives. Now then, I can hear the EFF – Electronic Freedom Foundation already to file a lawsuit against the use of these AI computers in this regard.
Perhaps the ethical question will be does the government and our intelligence agencies have the right to snoop on citizens, pretend to be someone they are not, collect information about each potential individual, and stick that into a file somewhere, or tucked away in some giant data center? The reality is that if someone posts information online in the public, that information is now in the public, and anyone may use it for any legitimate purpose.
Protecting the American people is within the realm of the government’s responsibility as per the U.S. Constitution and a legitimate purpose one could argue before the Supreme Court. Thus, they would have the right to gather all of the public information on any individual that happens to be on the Internet. Not only will they do this for American citizens, but also from potential threats of international terrorism, and individuals outside of our country. Surely, our intelligence services and agencies will be working with other governments around the globe sharing this information.
Who is to say that other governments are not already collecting information on Americans? It would behoove them to do this even if they didn’t find any Americans were a threat to their countries or nations, for the simple reason to sell us more of their products which have been imported to the United States. Corporations collect your information all of the time because perhaps you are a customer, you have joined their rewards program, or you have been identified as someone that may potentially buy something from them in the future. They do have the right to collect information they find online.
Let’s say someone who is upset with something going on in the world writes rather disparaging comments about some agency, company, industry, or individual on the Washington Post website after an article they just read – that information will be collected, and then the AI computer may contact that individual under false pretense, and attempt to start up a conversation. If that conversation leads the AI computer to think that the individual is problematic, psychotic, extremely angry, or willing to take action into their own hands, then the threat assessment level will go up, and red flags will be raised.
Remember, I was discussing the challenges of manpower in the intelligence industry and intelligence agencies. This is a real dilemma, for if we have too many false positives and spend too much time and money on the wrong individuals, we are liable to let someone else slip through. However, if the artificial intelligent computer has gotten to the point it can pass the Turing test without tipping off the individual, it could in essence have conversations by e-mail with tens of thousands of people in a single afternoon.
Since this will be possible or perhaps, already is, it will be part of our future, our government, and other governments, and individuals will use these techniques, all of them plus some more I have not discussed in this particular article. Okay so, I guess you are wondering how come I know this? No comment. Indeed, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s technology briefing and enjoy the rest of your afternoon, I know I will, and don’t forget to put more information about yourself online at your social network. Ha ha ha. Please consider all this and think on it.