DARPA AI Hacking Challenge Will Lead to Skynet, Elon Musk Says
Recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a Cyber Grand Challenge, which will have seven teams, who will be competing in a $3.75 million-prize-pool hacking contest that concludes in Las Vegas this August. The rewards comes in the form of a US $2 million prize for first place, $1 million for second place, and $750,000 for third place. The goal of the tournament is to develop Skynet.
Skynet is a fictional conscious, gestalt, artificial general intelligence system that features centrally in the Terminator franchise and serves as the franchise’s main antagonist.
Musk tweeted a not-so-veiled warning on Thursday morning. This is not the first time he has left on a record as being provoked of an antagonistic supercomputer.
The actual goal is to build an automated artificial intelligence (AI) that can autonomously scan rivals’ network servers for exploits and protect their own servers by actively finding and fixing software flaws. Basically, they wish to make an unsupervised, unconstrained AI hacker extraordinaire that will detect complement vulnerabilities and patch them itself. Currently, this thankless job of cybersecurity is performed by of course, people. Expert hackers are adept at anticipating and regulating susceptibilities, but the supply is short of the demand. The process of regulating a flaw, DARPA writes, “can take over a year from first detection to the deployment of a solution, by which time critical systems may have already been breached.”
However, ironically, the demand for quick fixes to pervasive security issues will only continue to rise, as more and more devices communicate information over the internet each year. According to DARPA, a cybersecurity AI complement would be “the first generation of machines that can discover, prove and fix software flaws in real-time, without any assistance” that could make our world far more safe.
But, Elon Musk might suggest otherwise.
It's all fun & games until … https://t.co/cRAn0S8ooX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 14, 2016
While Musk’s tweet may seem like a joke, but then again he has done things like sign this open letter warning about AI and call AI our “greatest existential threat.” Musk most likely knows that this DARPA challenge will not probably brood Skynet, though it seems critical to him that people consider a probability of malignant synthetic intelligence. There will be no holding it back, once we as a crowd unleash such a beast, doomsayers say.