The Real AI Threat?

Allen McKinley Kitchen (gmail) allenmckinleykitchen at
Fri Dec 11 21:10:55 UTC 2020

Unobserved, a small capacitor on an insignificant board near the top of a highly secure electronics cabinet in the Group Six radio communications system emits a puff of smoke...

(This is a paraphrase from memory, as I couldn’t locate Burdick's book quickly..)


> On Dec 11, 2020, at 15:45, bzs at wrote:
> Slow Friday...
> One pressing problem of "AI", and might be a useful analogy, is that
> we're (everyone w/ the money) deploying it, for some value of "it",
> into weapons systems.
> The problem is that decisions made by for example an attack drone
> might have to be made in milliseconds incorporating many real-time
> facts, much faster than a human can. Particularly if one considers
> such weapons "dog fighting" where both sides have them.
> Some decisions we're probably comfortable enough with, can I get a
> clear shot at a moving target etc. A human presumably already
> identified the target so that's just execution.
> But some amount to policy.
> Such as an armed response where there was no armed conflict a few
> milliseconds ago because the software decided a slight variation in
> the flight pattern of that hypersonic cruise missile -- Russia claims
> to be deploying these, some with nuclear power so can stay aloft
> essentially forever -- is threatening and not just another go-around.
> Etc.
> The point being it's not only the decision/policy matrix, it's also
> that when we put that into real-time systems the element of time
> becomes a factor.
> One can, for example, imagine similar issues regarding identifying and
> responding to cyberattacks in real-time. An attempt to bring down the
> country's cyberdefenses? Or just another cat photo? You have 10ms to
> decide whether to cut off all traffic from the source (or whatever,
> counter-attack) before your lights (might) go out and what are the
> implications?
> I'm sure there are better examples but I hope you get the general
> idea.
> -- 
>        -Barry Shein
> Software Tool & Die    | bzs at             |
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