In an age when we are thinking of self-driving cars, computers with senses, virtual reality in gaming and robots gaining ground in industries like health care, it is clear that we are heading in the direction of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is becoming an indispensable part of our everyday lives and computers are overtaking people even in the most unlikely areas such as brain-intensive games like chess and Jeopardy. In other words, the human race has now invented machine “intelligence” that can be programmed to perform better than human intelligence. Has it proven more intelligent? Probably not, but we are not far from achieving it.
Artificial intelligence in networks?
What would happen if we applied the same technology to build a fast and secure network? Would it be possible to build a true autonomous network – a network that was intelligent to a degree where it would be able to detect any abnormal activities, and when detected learn from it and ultimate prevent it from happening again in the future?
It is quite possible that if same creativity, machine learning capabilities and artificial intelligence used in the above mentioned inventions, the result would be a fast and very secure network. Of course the network would still be exposed to attacks and other malicious activities, but it would automatically detect them, learn from them and prevent it from happening again directly at the source. Further, if the learnings from such an intelligent network can be shared across the entire internet via a database in the cloud, then it would soon become very difficult for hackers or attackers.
Would it be safe to build such super intelligent network systems? One thing is for sure it is going to happen and we cannot stop it. Network companies will introduce network components that will utilize artificial intelligence and machine-based learning, making them more or less intelligent and this is likely to happen in the near future. Should we be concerned about it? I do not know, but we should at least consider and be open to how to control it as the concept evolves. As Elon Musk stated in an interview back in 2014, “if its [function] is just something like getting rid of e-mail spam and it determines the best way of getting rid of spam is getting rid of humans.” Watch the full interview on the Vanity Fair website.
The statement might come across as funny or bizarre, and provoked laughter from the crowd at the time, but it is difficult to determine how super intelligence will evolve. It will probably not be in the first generation of intelligent network systems that we will see a threat like this but artificial intelligence is progressing at lightening speed and who knows how it will evolve over the next few years. The only thing that we know for sure is the exponential speed with which it is becoming a part of our daily lives.
Whether it is safe or not, machine learning and artificial intelligence is here to stay and it is evolving very fast and the same technology can also be used for malicious activities and what will it take to stop that from happening first? Do I hear someone say SkyNet?