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Here, There, Everywhere…AI



Beware or be aware…either way, do not underestimate this powerful trend. Turn on the news and there will be a story about Artificial Intelligence (AI). The stories are not siloed in technology news, they are covering all aspects of how we live and interact with each other. Some recent stories include future potential wide-spread job losses, students cheating on exams, people falling in love with digital clones. AI is in its infancy and the growth curve is expected to be steep.


Doom and Gloom

According to an article in Computer World, Goldman Sachs predicts AI will replace 300 million full time jobs because it can “generate content that is indistinguishable from human-created output.” IBM has paused some hiring due to the possibility of chatbots replacing workers. ResumeBuilder.com reports that 25% of business leaders are currently using ChatGPT to replace workers at their companies.


While ChatGPT and other AI applications may be fascinating and productive, much of the doom and gloom surrounding its ability to replace people may be a little over-hyped. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, writes in Business Critical, that ChatGPT can be prone to error. In searching information databases, the app may not always understand the context of information and, therefore, misinterpret its meaning. A Stanford University study reported that citations given for answers do not actually support conclusions 25% of the time. A Wall Street Journal article reports that Sam Altman of ChatGPT, in testimony to the United States Congress, warned that AI ``can go quite wrong.”


While a little caution may be wise in turning over the reins of your company to AI apps, it should be noted that the technology is in its infancy and rapid advances in scope, accuracy and productivity are likely close. Along with new advances will come new problems. Social chaos may be on the horizon if there are no rails built around use of these capabilities.


In “Its" Own Words

While writing this blog, we asked the Chat GPT app to write a short story about its shortcomings. The result was very interesting. What we had expected was a direct description of pros and cons using AI. The app, however, interpreted the word “story” quite literally, creating a character and writing an actual story. The main character, Sophia, is a young, ambitious programmer who lives in the fictional city of Technopolis and wants to change the world using AI.


She found that AI has great potential for decision-making, problem-solving, and entertainment while making life easier and more efficient. Through her work, however, she finds that there are some shortcomings to the technology.


In the story, Technopolis becomes more and more dependent on AI for basic tasks such as communication and navigation. One day, during a power failure, the city is plunged into darkness with its citizens becoming disoriented and helpless. It turns out the people of Technopolis, being so dependent on AI, are ill equipped to manage on their own when the technology fails. Other noted AI shortcomings include lack of empathy and emotion.

Furthermore, in her research, Sophia finds that AI algorithms are trained on historical data which inherently contains societal biases. Although the technology is meant to be impartial, it may replicate past prejudices.


Of course, in the story, Sophia works to address these shortcomings by approaching AI development with caution, responsibility and a human-centric perspective. However, the real world has many people that are not as socially aware and altruistic as Sophia. The real world has politicians, hackers and profiteers who see this new technology as a way to expand their power, cheat, steal, hack and otherwise create havoc.


Keep Your Network Safe

There are many tools designed to protect networks and information in use today. However as new “intelligent” technologies such as AI are quickly becoming ubiquitous, the threat landscape is changing. Some of the largest tech companies such as Nvidia, Google, Microsoft and Adobe are working on AI development projects. As much as these developments may help increase productivity, they also open the door to sophisticated malware development. Network security technology needs to adapt with equal speed and agility.




Two Ideas for Next Generation Network Security

One solution to combat AI based attacks is to integrate #security tools that incorporate AI defences. DarkTrace, a Network Critical technology partner, offers a network security tool that uses AI to detect and neutralize threats. Powered by advanced, unsupervised AI, the tool is capable of learning what is normal and what is abnormal inside a network on an evolving basis without using training data or customized models. This allows it to detect cyber-attacks that may not have been observed before. When paired with the Network Critical SmartNA-PortPlus Packet Broker, the combination provides a seamless security solution with autonomous control of traffic flows. The tools learn and decide which traffic needs to pass and which needs to be eliminated. Once deployed, there is no human interaction necessary.


Another solution is utilizing a policy based foundation for all network traffic that starts with a “Deny-All'' strategy and applies strict policies to determine which traffic is allowed in the network. This recently released innovation from Network Critical, is called INVIKTUS. It has no MAC or IP address and therefore is invisible to hackers. Even AI programs can not find INVIKTUS. If you can’t see it, you can’t hack it.


Artificial Intelligence is still in its infancy. As the technology develops and improves, many observers say it has the capability to massively change the way we live and interact with each other. We can expect advances in science, medicine, finance, education and other fields using AI applications. For more detailed information on updating your security profile using the SmartNA-PortPlus and INVIKTUS go to: www.networkcritical.com/support. Our network security and visibility experts are available to review advanced security strategies and assist with design and deployment ideas.


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