72 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Exploring a World of AI Hackers

| Spring 2021

Bruce Schneier warns that AIs are becoming hackers. They're able to find exploitable vulnerabilities in software code. They're still not very good at it, but they'll get better. It's the kind of problem that lends itself to modern machine learning techniques: an enormous amount of input data, pattern matching, and goals that permit reinforcement. We have every reason to believe that AIs will continue to get better at this task and will soon surpass humans. They'll even come up with hacks that we humans would judge creative.

Report - Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Rechanneling Beliefs: How Information Flows Hinder or Help Democracy

| May 24, 2021

Despite a technically successful election with a record-breaking voter turnout,  U.S. institutions and procedures have not created the kinds of shared public consensus over the results of the 2020 election that they were supposed to. The authors write that the United States needs a dynamic stability, one that incorporates new forces into American democracy rather than trying to deny or quash them. This report is their attempt to explain what this might mean in practice

New York State Attorney General Letitia James

AP/Kathy Willens, File

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

'Grassroots' Bot Campaigns are Coming. Governments Don't Have a Plan to Stop Them.

| May 20, 2021

Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier argue that organizations that deliberately fabricate citizen voices shouldn't just be subject to civil fines, but to criminal penalties. Businesses that hire these organizations should be held liable for failures of oversight as well.

Analysis & Opinions - WIRED

Hackers Used to Be Humans. Soon, AIs Will Hack Humanity

| Apr. 19, 2021

Bruce Schneier warns that artificial intelligence will eventually find vulnerabilities in all sorts of social, economic, and political systems, and then exploit them at unprecedented speed, scale, and scope. After hacking humanity, AI systems will then hack other AI systems, and humans will be little more than collateral damage.


The Coming AI Hackers

| April 2021

Hacking is generally thought of as something done to computer systems, but this conceptualization can be extended to any system of rules. The tax code, financial markets, and any system of laws can be hacked. This essay considers a world where AIs can be hackers. This is a generalization of specification gaming, where vulnerabilities and exploits of our social, economic, and political systems are discovered and exploited at computer speeds and scale.

Solarwinds Chairman & CEO Kevin Thompson, left, and CFO Bart Kalsu celebrate

AP/Richard Drew

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Why Was SolarWinds So Vulnerable to a Hack?

| Feb. 23, 2021

Bruce Schneier explains how the modern market economy, which aggressively rewards corporations for short-term profits and aggressive cost-cutting, is also part of the problem: Its incentive structure all but ensures that successful tech companies will end up selling unsecure products and services.