RISE OF THE MACHINES?
ABOVE: USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN LIE DETECTION.
PLEASE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IN OUR MODERN WORLD. Is Artificial Intelligence Dangerous?
MARCH 24, 2016
"Today, artificial intelligence (AI), which was once thought to live purely in the realm of the human imagination, is a very real and looming prospect. In a case of life imitating art, we're faced with the question of whether artificial intelligence is dangerous and if its benefits far outweigh its potential for very serious consequences to all of humanity. It's no longer a question of if, but when.
What happens if AI's human wranglers aren't able to contain the machines? Will we have a real life SkyNet operating on the same fundamental principles that drive organisms towards survival of the fittest? In a now-very-ominous film called The Matrix, the Wachowskis portrayed a fantastical future where humans provided the source of energy for the machines.
The machines had taken over in The Matrix. In the Terminator series, we saw a similar demise spelled out for humanity. Not only had machines taken over, but they traveled back in time with the intention of wiping out those who posed an existential threat to their existence. While all this sounds very bleak and outlandish, who's to say that we're not actually spelling out our own demise with AI?
But how dangerous is AI really? When it comes down to it, how can a connected network operating within the confines of laws that govern other organisms' survival actually be stopped?
Is our species' hubris in crafting AI systems ultimately going be to blamed for its downfall when it occurs?
If all of this sounds like a doom-and-gloom scenario, it likely is. What's to stop AI when it's unleashed? Even if AI is confined to a set of rules, true autonomy can be likened to free will, one in which man or machine get to determine what is right or wrong. And what's to stop AI that lands in the hands of bad actors or secretive government regimes hell bent on doing harm to its enemies or the world?
When a super-intelligent machine's existence is threatened, how will it actually react?
In a poignant interview given in 2014, Elon Musk likened AI to "summoning the demon."
Stephen Hawking warned that it might "spell the end of the human race."
Other notable individuals have also come out against AI. Bill Gates recently stated, "I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”
So why aren't more people concerned?
Surely, if left unchecked, AI will pose an existential threat to the entire human race.
While droves of hardware and software engineers are helping to lead the charge towards a future laced with AI systems with names like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri, more advanced systems are being developed out of the public's prying eyes.
Ray Kurzweil, a computer engineer, celebrated author, and known futurist points out that by "2029 computers would have all of the intellectual and emotional capabilities of humans."
Kurzweil also points out that, on an evolutionary scale, our future will likely involve the brain being systematically synced to the cloud through the use of nano-bots the size of red-blood cells. He coins this the "neocortical cloud." So, if this were the case, what would happen when AI runs rampant and its able to impose its will on humans that have been injected with these nano-bots? Would the utilitarian nature of what we're after ultimately spell out our untimely doom?
No matter how dangerous AI might be for humanity, it's clear that there's no slowing down the pace of progress. Regardless of how many deponents come out against AI, there's simply no way to stop its advancement. Future discussions will likely help lead the charge in directing AI for good rather than bad, but no matter what happens, there's certainly no stopping the wheels of progress as they slowly grind forward."
THERE MAY BE A FEW (?) HUMANS WHO HAVE NEVER LIED, AND BY THAT I INCLUDE "LITTLE WHITE LIES" THAT WE TELL TO SPARE SOMEONE'S FEELINGS, OR "SOCIAL LIES", LIKE SAYING WE HAVE PREVIOUS PLANS THAT KEEP US FROM ATTENDING SOME FUNCTION WE JUST DON'T WANT TO GO TO.
BUT, FOR THE MOST OF US, WE HAVE BEEN GUILTY AT SOME POINT IN TIME OF LYING, WHETHER AS CHILDREN TO SAVE OURSELVES FROM PUNISHMENT, OR AS ADULTS TO FURTHER OUR CAREERS OR BOOST OUR OWN EGOS, OR COVER SOME SORT OF GUILT, ETC.
WHAT IF THERE WAS A WAY FOR OUR GOVERNMENT, OUR POLICE, EVEN OUR EMPLOYERS, FRIENDS, SPOUSES, ETC, TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE WERE LYING AT ALL, EVEN "A LITTLE"?
WOULD WE SEE THIS AS A GOOD THING OR AN INTRUSION UPON OUR PRIVACY, AN ASSAULT AGAINST OUR CREDIBILITY, A HAZARD TO OUR FREEDOM EVEN?
WELL, GOOD THING OR NOT, SUCH A DEVICE IS AVAILABLE AND "OUT THERE" TODAY.
IT JUST HASN'T QUITE 'TAKEN OFF' YET.
BUT WHEN IT DOES, THEN WHAT?
The Lie-Detecting Robotic Security Kiosk of the Future?
HERE'S A CONSIDERATION FOR ALL OF US:
Since the system uses little more than a precise video camera and complex artificial intelligence, there is little reason to suspect that the law would require consent to be given beyond that already needed for a police interrogation.
THE ACRONYM IS "AVATAR" AND THAT STANDS FOR 'AUTOMATED VIRTUAL AGENT for TRUTH ASSESSMENTS in REALTIME'.
IT IS AN AUTOMATED 'ROBOTIC' KIOSK WHICH USES THE MOST SUBTLE HUMAN MOVEMENTS SUCH AS FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND BODY REACTIONS AND ALSO DETECTS VOICE CHANGES WHEN PEOPLE REPLY TO QUESTIONS ASKED.
IT'S CURRENTLY BEING USED BY THE U.S. ON THE U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER IN ARIZONA AND WILL BE USED IN GREATER NUMBERS THERE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
THE CANADIAN BORDER. SERVICES AGENCY HAS ALSO DECIDED TO UTILIZE THIS NEW DEVICE AT OUR NORTHERN BORDER WITH CANADA.
"The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is currently being tested in conjunction with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to help border security agents determine whether travelers coming into Canada may have undisclosed motives for entering the country.
The system can detect changes in the eyes, voice, gestures and posture to determine potential risk.
It can even tell when you’re curling your toes.
[It] ask a series of innocuous questions to establish baseline measurements so people who are just nervous about flying, for example, wouldn’t be unduly singled out.
“We’ve come to realize that this can be used not just for border security, but also for law enforcement, job interviews and other human resources applications as well,” developer Dr. Aaron Elkins said.
“We continue to make improvements, such as analyzing the collected data using Big Data analysis techniques that make AVATAR a potentially valuable tool across many industries.”
In the meantime, Elkins is looking for a government agency willing to utilize the technology in a real-world application.
“AVATAR has been tested in labs, in airports and at border crossing stations,” Elkins noted. “The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders.”
WHAT OTHER, HOW MANY "OTHER HUMAN RESOURCES APPLICATIONS"?
AS STATED ABOVE, ONE WOULD NOT HAVE TO CONSENT TO THIS BEING USED BY WHOMEVER WANTED TO USE IT.
AVATAR DETECTS LIES WITH ABOUT 94% ACCURACY IN CURRENT TESTS HERE AND IN POLAND.
ANOTHER ARTICLE STATED A 90% ACCURACY RATE AND IN THAT ARTICLE, THE AVATAR WAS CALLED "ELVIS" OR "PAT" BY BORDER AGENTS TESTING THE DEVICE.
I HAVE A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ABOUT THIS.
WHAT DOES THAT 10% FAIL RATE MEAN?
WHAT IF IT "READS" A HUMAN WRONGLY?
HOW MUCH WILL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR ANY AGENCY OR CORPORATION RELY ON THESE MACHINES?
WHAT IF IT TAGS A COMPLETELY HONEST PERSON AS A LIAR?
WILL THIS END SPYING, GOVERNMENTAL AND CORPORATE SPYING?
COULD IT DEVELOP TO THE POINT THAT SPIES CAN'T BEAT THE SYSTEM?
THAT MAY SEEM TO BE A GOOD THING...UNLESS YOU ARE A SPY.
IF SO, IT COULD MEAN YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE.
WHAT ABOUT POLITICIANS?
WILL THEY FINALLY STOP LYING IF WE CAN SEE THEY'RE LYING?
AVATAR WAS FIRST DEVELOPED IN 2012 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA AND HAS GONE THROUGH SEVERAL ADVANCEMENTS.
ITS DEVELOPER MOVED TO SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY THIS PAST YEAR AND CONTINUES WORK THERE..
The AVATAR kiosk is configured to ask several simple, baseline questions before testing for truthfulness.
Interacting with a video image of a head on the screen, the subject stands on a pressure pad that is precise enough to detect when a person's toes curl inside their shoes.
Voice, gestures and facial expression are analyzed in real time as the system asks about the subject's intentions and their possession of contraband.
Developed by Dr. Aaron Elkins, the system automates, with superhuman accuracy, the age-old human way of detecting lies that doesn't require any physical contact apart from standing on a pressure pad, unlike a traditional lie detecting machines.
Polite and bilingual, the machine doesn't need more than a few seconds to feed a set of reactions through its algorithms and flag a lie.
[AS ONE READER COMMENTED: "Hal (the homicidal artificial intelligence in the Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey) was polite and responsive too."]
The questions, "Are you traveling to New York?" or "Are you older than 18?" are easily verifiable truths, but the questions "Are you carrying any agricultural products? Are you bringing any weapons?" are questions that look for reaction anomalies.
For airports, this could add a quick level of extra security to the security screening process, but what of its applications elsewhere?
THERE HAVE BEEN HOLOGRAPHIC AVATARS IN SEVERAL AIRPORTS AS "GREETERS" FOR YEARS NOW. PASSENGERS ARE USED TO SUCH THINGS. MOST WOULD NOT THINK TWICE ABOUT STEPPING UP TO THIS NEW TYPE OF LIE DETECTOR, WOULD THEY?
THE AVATAR LIE DETECTOR IS ALREADY IN SOME AIRPORTS.
FROM JANUARY, 2014:
"It's the first European field test of the AVATAR system, which is being developed by The National Center for Border Security and Immigration, or BORDERS.
The Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence comprised 18 premier institutions and is based at the University of Arizona.
[FOR MY FOREIGN READERS WHO MAY NOT KNOW, OUR "INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES" HAVE THEIR FINGERS IN A LOT OF UNIVERSITIES' RESEARCH 'PIES'. THEY 'FARM OUT' NEW INTELLIGENCE TECHNOLOGY IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND ALSO RECRUIT IN UNIVERSITIES.]
The screening technology could one day be used at land ports of entry, airports, detention centers and visa processing offices. Possible applications include a number of screening scenarios, such as trusted traveler application programs, personnel follow-up investigations, visa application reviews and other situations where truth assessment is a key concern.
The screening system called AVATAR has been installed in a kiosk at Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest.
The avatar conducts brief interviews with travelers right after they disembark from flights into Bucharest.
Border police in Romania are also testing the technology to flag those that give off suspicious vibes.
Border security experts from Romania and European Union Agency member states – including those specializing in fraudulent document detection and anti-trafficking – also are involved in the field test, as well as students from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Police Academy and researchers and professors from European universities.
Results from the field test will be used to shape how the AVATAR system could be used in the future."
This lie-detecting robot is the customs officer of the future | New York Post
"The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is currently being tested by the Canadian Border Services Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security.
“The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders.”
WHAT OTHER "APPLICATIONS"?
AVATAR doesn't make the ultimate decision about whether a particular traveler can enter the country, but it does provide a filter that can later be evaluated by a human agent if someone is acting suspiciously.
Of course, a system such as this isn't likely to stop at border security; AVATAR kiosks could serve myriad purposes."...this can be used not just for border security, but also for law enforcement, job interviews and other human resources applications as well," explained Elkins.
NO, HE DIDN'T EXPLAIN WELL ENOUGH TO ASSUAGE MY CONCERN.
Using automated systems such as AVATAR for border security does raise some questions.
What about privacy? Or foreign hacking? (Of course, human bias and error are good things to eliminate, but you can't hack a human.)
[ MY NOTE: No one can "hack" a human, but as we now know, Federal agents took bribes to let drugs, illegal immigrants into US.
ALSO, ON THE BORDER PATROL'S OWN WEBSITE, ILLEGAL ALIENS CAN FIND OUT HOW TO AVOID BEING PICKED UP BY ... THE BORDER PATROL.]
FROM POPULAR SCIENCE, July, 2014:
The Avatar Tested for National Security Interviews
"A new study from the U.S.'s lie detection agency recommends robots over people to conduct clearance interviews.
Other researchers have focused on making software that screens people for depression. The software uses avatars to ask people questions and algorithms to analyze people's verbal and non-verbal cues while they're answering."
WHY IS DEPRESSION SUCH A MAJOR CONCERN?
EVERYONE GETS A BIT DEPRESSED NOW AND THEN.
FROM MOTHERBOARD, ALSO IN JULY, 2014:
A recent NCCA study published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior asserts that not only would a computer-generated interviewer be less “time consuming, labor intensive, and costly to the Federal Government,” people are actually more likely to admit things to the robot.
The study used US Army basic trainees as volunteer subjects for a mock national security clearance interview. The trainees were not told that the questions would be asked by a robot. After being hooked up to electrodes for cardiographic and electrodermal (heart and skin) responses the volunteers were told that the interview would be with a computer avatar, and were left alone in a chamber with their on-screen interrogator.
[SEE, THAT MAKES ME THINK THE MILITARY IS GETTING INTO THIS WITH BOTH FEET.
IT'S EASY TO SEE THE MILITARY BENEFITS OF SUCH AN APPLICATION.]
The program used for the study was capable of responding to vocal cues and taking multiple conversation paths depending on the subject’s answers. The researchers were hoping to leverage the power of presence: the idea that people recognize another sentient being in the environment, and are more responsive as a result.
Using the avatar also allowed the researchers to measure pauses in conversation and take advantage of questions that would seem out of place on a paper form. At the end of each interview section the computer-generated interviewer asked the volunteers “if there was anything at all” they wished to discuss—with over 10 percent then responding with more information.
The researchers concluded, in so many words, that national security clearance interviews can totally be outsourced to a computer-generated agent.
That’s not an empty recommendation: The NCCA grew out of the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute and is still responsible for “lie detection” training for all branches of government. It's also tasked with developing new technologies for credibility assessment.
Still the idea of a computer conducting national security clearance interviews, even with human oversight, is bound be unsettling for some. But depending on the system's effectiveness and the potential cost savings, we may see national security screening being done by a screen in the very near future."
COUNT ME AMONG THE UNSETTLED, NOT BECAUSE OF THE LIE DETECTION, BUT BECAUSE, AS STATED IN SEVERAL ARTICLES ON THIS, THE TECHNOLOGY INVOLVED IS CLASSIFIED AS "NON-INVASIVE" SO NO ONE HAS TO EVEN TELL US IT'S BEING USED AND WE DON'T HAVE TO CONSENT TO IT.
EVEN IF SUCH TECHNOLOGY WAS MERELY MONITORING OUR HEALTH STATISTICS, I WOULD STILL WANT TO BE ASKED IF IT'S OKAY TO USE IT.
I WOULD WANT ANYONE USING THIS TO NEED MY CONSENT AND TO HAVE TO INFORM ME IT WAS BEING USED.
CALL ME PARANOID, WHATEVER.
I DON'T EVEN TRUST MY COMPUTER OR MY CELL PHONE.
AFTER ALL, I WATCHED THE HAL 9000 AND THE TERMINATORS KILL HUMANS.
I WATCHED THE CYBORG ASH TRY TO KILL SIGOURNEY WEAVER IN 'ALIEN'.
FOR ONCE, I AGREE WITH OLD STEPHEN HAWKING, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE DECIDING ANYTHING FOR HUMANS IS TOO BIG A RISK.
JUST AS AN "ASIDE"...EACH TIME I CITE ANYTHING FROM POPULAR MECHANICS OR POPULAR SCIENCE, OR SEVERAL OTHER MEDIA SOURCES ACCEPTED BY MOST AMERICANS AS 'LAW AND GOSPEL', I AM ALWAYS REMINDED OF THE CIA AND MEDIA "MARRIAGE" THAT WAS 'BUSTED' IN 1976 AND THEN, APPARENTLY, FORGOTTEN BY CONGRESS' CHURCH COMMITTEE.
KNOWN IN SOME CIRCLES AS "OPERATION (OR "PROJECT") MOCKINGBIRD", THIS CIA-MEDIA ALLIANCE HAD BEEN ONGOING SINCE 1948.
AN ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, VERY IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO THIS WAS DONE BY A FORMER WASHINGTON POST JOURNALIST, CARL BERNSTEIN.
THAT25,000 WORDS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN 'ROLLING STONE', OCTOBER 20, 1977.
YOU CAN READ ALL OF IT AND A BIT MORE <HERE>.
THERE IS ALSO A LARGE PDF FILE CALLED "FAMILY JEWELS".
HAVE A LOOK SOMETIMES, "JUST FOR FUN", AT WHAT MAY BE A REPLAY OF MOCKINGBIRD, GOING ON RIGHT NOW.
THE BIG PUSH TO LABEL "FAKE NEW SITES" JUST MAY BE FAKE ITSELF. .