back to article Don't rage against the machine – wage against the master, says McAfee amid AI havoc fear hype

McAfee – the infosec company, not that weird bloke – says rather than worry about ultra-smart AIs causing havoc all by themselves, we should instead focus on stopping the human element: the miscreants with their hands on the levers. Speaking today at this year's RSA conference in San Francisco, McAfee chief technology officer …

  1. Bitsminer


    Slay the masters!

    Except for the small problem of attribution.

    Successfully pointing to the miscreants is, unlike TV, almost impossible to do.

  2. Simon B-52

    A cynic opines

    Fear is, in evolutionary terms, arguably the most important single attribute that has kept us in existence as a species, despite the associated costs.

    Technology has massive scope to alienate and isolate, particularly via both mainstream and social media, resulting in the fearfulness that lead us to best avoid being eaten into extinction 20,000 years ago causing epidemic levels of anxiety and its good friend depression.

    If we want better lives, we need to put more effort into thinking more about what really makes life good and less into churning out ever more tat, regardless of how shiny and clever it seems.

    Of course, this is the last thing that many and varied powerful vested interests want, so don't hold your breath.

    The more "AI" is used, particularly on the basis of "unstoppable progress", the more money will accrue to the likes of RSA, so excuse my wondering if there might be just a little bit of self interest in what's being put forward here.

  3. Wily Veteran

    Moral Compass

    As "Gil Grissom" on the TV series, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" remarked, "A moral compass can only point the right direction but can't make you go there. Without a conscience, it's useless." (slightly paraphrased since I cannot remember the exact wording).

    It's not enough to know what is right and what is wrong, one has to take right action to do the right thing.

  4. DCFusor Silver badge


    I don't recall any debate among cryptographers, actually. I do remember almost total unity of all the experts saying that attempting to restrict it was futile and just plain dumb. Speaking out and being ignored isn't debate. Sure a few people in the "agencies" whose rice bowl needed constant filling spoke to a few people they had dirt on. Quietly.

    Australia on the other hand has laws. Now all they have to do is pass a law against fission and fusion and they can't be nuked, right?

    War on drugs eliminated them, right? As far as I can tell, it simply made the worst people on earth (money laundering banks and politician and cops taking bribes) rich and profited the cartels too.

    I could go on, but it's pointless, and no one can decode it anyway. Sorry for the failed communication.

  5. brendonen

    "Articulate Goodness!"

    It's not enough to know what is right and what is wrong, one has to take right action to do the right thing.

    That is it. The articulated goodness. But, we have blocked it. Einstein said that good people will not act. Maybe they think that then they will feed bad people! But, eventually, the confrontation has to come. Bad must dominate over good as per the evolution. Then good will win in the end. Then we will name it god! Devil in the technology of the evolution and god in morality of horizontal divine!

  6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Typical drivel

    Technology doesn't comprehend morality

    That's a meaningless statement, if it's not supported by a persuasive theory of mind that posits the mind as something other than a mechanical effect. Otherwise, morality is by definition an output of a machine, and there is no barrier to reproducing it with technology.

    Based on the article (I can't be bothered to look for a transcript of the source), Grobman and Fralick were just repeating commonplace, sophomoric observations about the fungibility of technology in general, couched in terms of flavor-of-the-day AI. Anyone with any knowledge of the domain and a reasonable capacity for critical thinking has made the same observations long ago. There's no news here.

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