Father of the Internet: ‘AI Stands for Artificial Idiot’

by  Frank Konkel,   NextGov.com

Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf, who shared the 2004 ACM A.M. Turing Award with Robert E. Kahn, told attendees at a recent technology summit that modern artificial intelligence (AI) systems are only as smart as the people who interact with them, and he warned AIs can learn bad behaviors if they engage with bad actors.

Cerf used the tweet-fueled corruption of Microsoft’s AI chatbot to make the point that AI systems today are only as smart as the people who interact with it. Twitter trolls, it turns out, aren’t the type you want educating young, impressionable AI. “It’s a good example of how an AI system can learn the wrong ways,” Cerf said.

Cerf said he won’t even sit in the programmable massage chair at his California home because he’s worried a glitch might have him squeezed like a Florida orange.

Cerf also discussed the potentially dangerous ramifications of the Internet of Things for the U.S. military. He said the military faces far more serious security risks than the general public in its heavy use of Internet-connected devices that could number in the billions in only a few years. Cerf said a lack of constant security will enable criminals to exploit seemingly harmless data to steal far more sensitive information.

He also is concerned about incorporating numerous sensors into military equipment. “Some devices last for decades, who is going to maintain that software 30 or 40 years?” Cerf asked. Read the report!

DCL: Vint is always a good read. His concerns span a very wide range of topics from long term maintenance of software to extending the IoT to other planets in the solar system.

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