China’s artificial intelligence development program poses a serious threat to the national security of America and other countries, or so said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Speaking before a World Economic Forum panel in Davos, Switzerland, on dual-use technology, Ray said he was “very concerned” about the prospect of Beijing augmenting its army of malware developers and network intruders with next-generation machine learning tools. In turn, he said, China would be able to steal more blueprints and code from other countries, and use all that illicit knowledge.
“The Chinese government has a hacking program larger than any other country in the world, and their AI program is not constrained by the rule of law,” Tell his audience.
The Chinese government has a hacking program larger than any other country in the world and their AI program is not constrained by the rule of law
It is built on top of a huge pool of intellectual property and sensitive data That they have been stolen over the years and will be used – unless verified – to develop the same hacking software, to further the same intellectual property theft, to further the repression that is happening not only at home in mainland China but increasingly is a product they are exporting around the world.”
The discussion turned to the dual-use nature of machine learning technology: Like nuclear knowledge, it can be used constructively or destructively. Script-generating templates can automatically generate code for useful applications, or inject disguised text for millions of phishing emails.
“AI is a classic example of technology where I have the same reaction every time,” Wray said. “I think, ‘Wow, we can do that.'” Then, oh my God, they can do it.”
Technology is once again a double-edged sword in the case of artificial intelligence Improves Enterprise cyber defenses, if the software is able to quickly and accurately identify and act upon malicious activity in network traffic. Or it can help criminals evade IT defenses while carrying out cyberattacks.
“There is a degree to which the cat-and-mouse game that occurs in this field, cyber defense, cyber security, cyber crime, is critically infiltrated by the whole AI discussion,” Ray said, adding that one of the FBI’s main concerns in this area surrounds compilation. Data required by modern artificial intelligence.
He cited self-driving vehicles as an example. There is concern that the vehicle itself is being weaponized by miscreants who remotely take over important systems or trick sensors into failing and causing Accelerate through the stop sign.
There’s also the possibility of a different type of damage in the data the vehicle collects, Ray said. “Anytime you’re collecting lots and lots of sensitive data, it’s a very tempting target,” he added.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, who also spoke on the panel, was a little more optimistic about the AI arms race.
‘The challenge is the data’
“The challenge is not the algorithms,” Prince said. “The challenge is the data. Whoever has the most data wins the AI game. The thing that makes me an optimist about this: There are more good people than bad people.”
Information sharing has long been a hot topic in security: sharing threat information with other organizations means everyone is better equipped to protect critical resources. It is basically the rising tide that raises the all ship theory.
Both Prince and Ray said the “good guys” are better at cooperating and sharing information than the bad guys, and this will help cyber defenders stay ahead of current and future AI-enabled threats.
“In a world where all of these technologies are available to both the good guys and the bad guys, the good guys are constrained by the rule of law and international norms,” Ray said. “The bad guys aren’t, and it arguably gives them a competitive advantage.”
While cybercriminals also work together to share (or sell) exploit information and the like, these relationships are transactions. “They’ll turn on each other in a heartbeat if it suits them,” Wray added. “The competitive advantage that good guys have…when we all work together, there is no match.” ®