The Real AI Threat?

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at
Wed Dec 9 19:07:03 UTC 2020

Hi Folks,

It occurs to me that network & systems admins are the the folks who really have to worry about AI threats.

After watching yet another AI takes over the world show - you know, the
same general theme, AI wipes out humans to preserve its existence - it
occurred to me:

Perhaps the real AI threat is "self-healing systems" gone wild. Consider:

- automated system management
- automated load management
- automated resource management - spin up more instances of <whatever>
as necessary
- automated threat detection & response
- automated vulnerability analysis & response

Put them together, and the nightmare scenario is:
- machine learning algorithm detects need for more resources
- machine learning algorithm makes use of vulnerability analysis library
to find other systems with resources to spare, and starts attaching
those resources
- unbounded demand for more resources

Kind of what spambots have done to the global email system.

"For Homo Sapiens, the telephone bell had tolled."
(Dial F for Frankenstein, Arthur C. Clarke)

I think I need to start putting whisky in my morning coffee.  And maybe not thinking
about NOT replacing third shift with AI tools.

Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
nothing works and no one knows why.  ... unknown

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