Scorpion Hacker Says Weaponized AI Is Here

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( — March 28, 2018) — Since computers were invented, humanity has fretted over the threat of weaponized AI programs. From Isaac Asimov’s genre defining “Foundation” series, to the blockbuster Hollywood Terminator movies, AI has long been seen as a threat to humanity.

Well, a prominent Scorpion hacker claims that weaponized AI has already arrived. AI-caused nuclear war may not be on the horizon, but AI-related security risks are becoming a real threat.

Walter O’Brien is one of the most famous hackers in the world, even being the inspiration for CBS’s prime-time Scorpion drama. O’Brien’s Scorpion Computer Services Inc. is a well-known commodity in the security community, having already been honored for its contributions to the U.S. military. Scorpion has provided a variety of cutting-edge cyberwarfare and cybersecurity solutions.

O’Brien is a genius even by genius standards, with an estimated IQ of 197. He first came to the attention of the National Security Administration when he was just 13 years old after he tried to hack NASA. These days, he’s working closely with the American government, and holds a EB-1-1 Visa, the same visa granted to Albert Einstein.

Already, Scorpion’s solutions have been used to help protect the homeland. In the hours and days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Scorpion’s video analysis solutions were set to task, helping to analyze huge amounts of video so that authorities could key in on the suspects.

Now, Scorpion is working on an advanced AI technology called ScenGen that will work with the military’s unmanned aerial systems. The exact nature of these technologies, unsurprisingly, is classified. However, ScenGen itself is already well-known in the AI community.

ScenGen refers to “Scenario Generator”. According to Scorpion, this AI program is able to extend “a human’s ability to think of all possibilities for any given situation by over tenfold.” ScenGen won the CONNECT 2011 Most Innovative Product (MIP) Award competition in the Aerospace and Security Technologies category back in 2011.

ScenGen has continued to advance and is among the most respected AI programs currently available. That’s why the American military and several key defense companies are turning to ScenGen as an AI solution for its drones. Already, ScenGen is being used by Lockheed Martin,Northrop Gruman as and the US Navy’s Command and Control system.

ScenGen won’t be taking control of drones and other military assets. Instead, it will be used to thoroughly and extensively test software. Military applications need 99.999% uptime. Any downtime that exceeds the .001% mark exceeds tolerance thresholds.

This is a huge challenge. “Hours of Error” plague software development. The entire process from analysts to developer to tester and production can generate errors as high as 30%. While the development team will work to reduce these errors, there’s no sure fire process. ScenGen, however, will aid greatly in reducing errors and risks.

AI’s Role In the Future May Increase

In the years ahead, AI is likely to play an even bigger role in warfare. Human minds can get rattled under the stresses of war, but AI won’t have to struggle with any emotions, attention spans, or other battlefield challenges.

When you think of warfare, you might believe that it’s the initial battle plan that’s most important. However, what’s arguably more important is an ability to adjust plans and actions on the fly.

Conditions will not always unfold as military planners had foreseen. In these circumstances, the difference between defeat and victory often comes down to the ability to adjust to a changing environment.

Battlefields are intense. Military officers are trained to react to evolving threats and circumstances. However, the human mind can easily be overwhelmed with so many factors at play and the stakes so high.

AI may be able to help, analyzing situations, providing tactical oversight, and perhaps even participating via AI-empowered drones and other assets. Whatever the future holds, expect O’Brien and Scorpion to play a major role.