Businessman, author, and programmer Daniel Suarez (aka Leinad Zaurus) discusses the role of "bots" in our society. He argues that because of our growing reliance on them, along with their increasing complexity and the vast amounts of data they have access to, they are becoming a threat to human autonomy.
An avid gamer and technologist, Daniel Suarez (aka Leinad Zeraus) is a senior IT consultant to Fortune 1000 companies. He has designed enterprise software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. Daemon is his first novel.
Author, businessman, and programmer Daniel Suarez (aka Leinad Zeraus) explains how bots, (i.e. automated computer programs) decide important aspects of our everyday life, affecting everything from our jobs to our health.
Design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans. Many aspects of robotics involve artificial intelligence; robots may be equipped with the equivalent of human senses such as vision, touch, and the ability to sense temperature. Some are even capable of simple decision making, and current robotics research is geared toward devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment. Today's industrial robots do not resemble human beings; a robot in human form is called an android.
This talk reminded me of Joseph Carpenter's They Live. Also, the part about robots controlling us like we're robots reminds me of how Carlos Castaneda's writings hint at multidimensional beings who feed off of our bad feelings and how they manipulate us to do things which make situations that produce more bad feelings. Also, the more intelligent robots become the more they will think for themselves so, what bots with general AI do could be more of a wildcard scenario than a global fascist state even though, as history shows, totalitarian regimes can take many forms. Of course, if humanity doesn't experience an elevation in consciousness now we're all eventually go back to living in caves or possibly go extinct like the speaker in this presentation states. Overall though, what Suarez said was nothing new but just rephrased knowledge that's already known within another context. In the end, his presentation was definitely very interesting.
A recent Washington Post article talks about autonomous killing with drones. Here's a quote:
"This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans."
I believe Daniel Suarez makes a compelling argument about bots making increasingly critical decisions that affect our lives. My take on "bot" is a discrete software implementation that takes some input (sensors, data, etc) and produces an output (decision, resulting in further data or actions).
Whilst it is not specifically good or bad, the opaque nature of bots and the speed with which decisions can be made autonomously is concerning. As in his novelised scenario, an organisation might essentially end up consisting primarily of bots which filter, process and make decisions independent of oversight or control.
I like the idea of an Internet that only humans can enter. Even better would be the impossible dream of an Internet with no anonymity for those of us that have nothing to fear but those full of fear.
Technology will continue to do more good than harm. I get amused by those who pretend to have a long view of history by looking forward several hundred years. The sobering reality is the impending lifelessness of our planet no more than 4.5 billion years from now. One could argue that the greatest increase in human well-being, efficiency, output, growth, and wealth will have been the 20th century. A 100-year period that saw the internal combustion engine gain mass acceptance, the computer, and the Internet. What did we do with this incredible period of increased wealth? We spent most of it on devices used to kill one another, and the rest on too-large houses.
Take those trillions and trillions of dollars and imagine using them to prepare for a long future for humanity. A settlement on the moon. A space station that means something. People on Mars. Ideas for reaching other stars.
All of that potential was blown, like watching an immature youth churn through an early inheritance, unable to forego immediate self-gratification.
Global warming isn't a problem, but global warring is. And no, I do not blame the United States as is popular, I blame every culture that attempts to solve their problems with violence. Cuba, N. Korea, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Sudan, Russia, abusive husbands, petty thieves, we each play our part to some degree. The waste is enough to sicken my optimistic heart.
Aaron from Breckenridge Colorado
I like Sci Fi and good Sci Fi is hard to come by; this is good. I have also read The World Made By Hand, also good.
But we should fear Pharma more; what is one the agenda is a disruptor of short term memory. That's more real than nanos. What do you have when you disrupt short term memory from becoming long term? A ROBOT.
I haven't read Suarez's books when I saw this, but I definitely will now. This guy is not only crazy smart, but you can tell he's really thought hard about technology.
Since the talk, there's a good case to be made that bots (coded by quants) played a large role in triggering the current recession. I have a feeling that this won't be the last of their great interventions in history. Bots should be on the mind of everyone who seriously thinks about the future. They're dumb, they're simple, they're deterministic and they're real. We don't need AI for our digital future to get really scary.
Short version: This talk will steal and hour of your life that you will never get back. This talk has no value or merit. Go outside and play with your kids/friends instead.
1. Given 60 minutes, the presenter failed to construct anything resembling a consistent thesis. It appears that there's some problem in the world (i.e. Data collection bots) and there's a solution offered.
2. The problem is ill-defined as "Woo, Computers make decisions for us and that means our desctruction". Well, No. I personally don't believe that thinking-machines will end civilization and the presenter has shown no hard proof that it will. What he has done is provided speculation that in 2008 could have been disputed or verified by hard data.
The presentation offered no relevant hard data (beyond the obligatory "Pirates cause global warming" stats).
3. Terminology used in the presentation is beyond sketchy - it's massively ill defined.
A "bot" is never defined by the presenter, and given that it's a 60 minutes talk on bots, that's a problem.
The core argument is "Bots thinks for us".
When pressed for an example, the presenter says "Your mortgage rates are evaluated by bots".
Based on that logic, and piece of software with business logic that outputs decisions based on data input is a bot. Hence, pocket calculators and watches are "bots".
Having failed to build a reliable terminology for the core issue, this presenter failed to build even the most basic argument.
4. The proposed solution requires a permanent social, political and economic revolution.
In all honesty, the solution sounds like a sci-fi solution: Let's all move to an agalmic economy based on attention/reputation to allocate political resources. With "bots" mediating.
Being a scifi author the presenter should have been more careful in presenting wild-eyed solution straight from Corey Doctorow ebooks. It makes the whole presentation sound like a cheap scifi novel.
If you like to argue with yourself and do armchair quarterbacking on ForaTV - watch this talk.
Otherwise - Don't watch this talk.
Thank you Daniel,
I´ve been engaged in getting myself informed about how technology may affect our lives, (..you know singularity,etc.)
so far, I,ve digged quite far for a reasonable scenario, or personal time frame view. (sorry for my english, my second name is very similar to yours and I live in the Canary Islands, Spain).
Anyway, Your lecture on the subject has clarify greatly my point of view on the subject in a more realistic way, letting me know where the real drama may occure.
Thank you hermano!
One of the best books I've read in years. Cudos on a stellar first novel.
Presentation is engaging and informative and suggestions for a DarkNet are intrigueing...But you're predicating this paradigm on the basic decency of people. While most are, for the most part, if there's a buck to be made someone will find a way to do it.
Mr. Suarez is an intelligent, insightful man who promotes hope in a radical new way.
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Watch Daniel Suarez - Daemon: Bot-Mediated Reality
Hello! IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m Alexander. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m the executive director at the Long NowFoundation. Stewart unfortunately canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be here tonight. He is accepting an award inChicago, but IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m glad that all of you are in light of the opening games tonight of theOlympics. Clearly, some of you made it out instead of watching the smog in China. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢dalso just like to thank those of you who did come to the Mechanicrawl. Actually, can Isee hands how many people came? Oh, quite a few, awesome. So we had over athousand people. We had no idea how many people would come and it was greatover a thousand people come and check out all the amazedness that is in San FranciscoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢sFishermanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Wharf that nobody ever gets to see except for the tourists of course.Tonight, Peter Schwartz will be doing the Q and A after the talk, and I just wanted to givea little bit of the back story. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actually nice that Stewart isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t doing this becauseStewart is actually a bit of the fairy godmother of this story which isÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦He read a blogreview by Rick Klau of this book. The book was sent to him by Daniel SuarezÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wife andtotal cold call used the thing that everybody says it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t work and he actually read it,which nobody ever does and then he reviewed it, and he gave it a really great review.And Stewart saw it and then bought the book and put it on the shelf and there it sat formany months. And finally, he pulled it off the shelf when he was looking for a newnovel and he read it and he was amazed. The book was really pushing new ground. Itwas doing it in a new way, not with necessarily new technology but by combining thecurrent technology in a totally fresh and interesting way and in some cases, a pretty scaryway. Since that time, he also introduced Daniel to Peter Schwartz who connected him toWalter Parks of Dreamworks and so there is now a Dreamworks movie deal on its wayanyway and a two-book deal with Dutton Publishers. So the books that we have are theremainder copies from the original purchase we have. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re all signed out there, buttheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re the last ones of this self-published edition. So if you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get these, you are notgoing to be able to get the new edition until January 9th. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll be available here and inour store afterwards and until weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re out, you will be able to get them. So Daniel tonightis going to be talking about the kind of themes that he worked on in this book. HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s notgoing to be necessarily talking about the book itself but like Neuromancer and SnowCrash, this type of book when you read it, you realize youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re reading something new andimportant and you will be riveted and he puts together the technology in a way that Ithink is very important for our civilization the way the Vernor Vinge is now working onas well and here to talk about that tonight is Daniel Suarez.Thank you Alexander. Good evening everybody. Now some of youmight be wondering what qualifies a novelist to speak on the topic of Bot-MediatedReality, so IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like to address that first off. Who the hell is Daniel Suarez? Well, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m asoftware guy. For the last 17 years, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been designing and developing databasemanagement systems for large companies.Now, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been doing this in many industries, defense, finance, logistics,entertainment, and for the last seven years with my own company. Now, over the courseof my career, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve noticed societyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s collective pursuit of hyperefficiency. This had been agreat concern of mine because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been a pursuit of efficiency at the expense of almosteverything else. Now, efficiency manifests itself in several ways. First of all,centralization thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s companies merging becoming ever larger, achieving economies ofscale and fewer people making decisions that affect larger numbers of people and thatbegets a monoculture thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s vast uniform networks, not just digital but agriculture,industrial, financial, and media. And part of this is also an elimination of redundancy thatis trimming fact. Now in nature, there is a use for fact, is to deal with disruptions. Bigbusiness tries to minimize the amount of fact and part of it also is a drive for ubiquitousconnectivity that is unifying all of these vast networks to achieve centralized datamanagement and analysis and as all of these things in the pursuit of efficiency that makeit possible to achieve widespread automation but I mean software automation or bots andthatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m here to talk about tonight. Because bots are increasingly what we rely onto make decisions for us. As a matter of fact, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re increasingly taking our instructionsdirectly from bots and sometimes, just on faith, it takes a while. I think this is in theOlympic Village, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m not sure. Now my book Daemon, for those of you who arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢tfamiliar with the scenario of that book, the story is one of a game designer who designsan array of bots that scan the internet for the appearance of his obituary and when itappears on his death, his bots launched into action and begin to dismantle civilization aswe know it. Now, as far-fetched as that sounds, it didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t escape my notice that IT securityexperts didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t immediately dismiss this scenario and that should tell you something aboutthe state of our cultureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s infrastructure because I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think it would take a singularity ora greater than human machine intelligence to trap the human race. I think it could bedone with much simpler systems. Because one of the things about narrow AI which iswhat bots are is that they are great at allowing a very small number of people to run theunderpinnings of society. Well the great mass of people makes few or no decisions ofconsequence which is one of my big concerns. In fact, I think soon if notalready, it might be possible for our society to run completely on autopilot, nobody at thewheel. So you may think, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWow damn, that does sound pretty unlikelyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ but IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll go overa couple of ways that might happen because to me thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the fundamental question of ourtime whether technology, Oh sorry IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m bellowing here, whether technology will liberateus or enslave us. And I think we need to get busy answering that question and soonbecause bots are not going away, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to be with us as long as civilization ishere so we need to get this decision, is this done right. So before I continue, let meclarify some terms. When I say a bot most of you already know that it stands for robotand I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t mean this and I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t mean this and there are no circumstances do I meanthis, fabulous dance from the eighties. What IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m talking about is this, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a software bot,and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a software application designed to accomplish a specific purpose. This is thesource code for any commerce bot that scrapes pricing information out of websites andaccumulates it into a database probably to be picked up by still other bots. So a bot doesone a role of these three things. It searches for information, retrieves information, andacts upon information. And although that these seem very harmless, these are really thebuilding blocks for the whole biological world because cells retrieve chemicals andenzymes and pull them into the cell to act as catalysts to create all of the activity in amulticellular organism. So these are really as I said the building blocks for the naturalworld. So together theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re very powerful and knowingly are now, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve replicated thisin the digital world. Now, if you look at the last item act upon, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the key one becausethat might get his headed back in this direction at some point but unfortunately not evenDanny Hillis or Alexander Rose can build one of this yet. So that leaves us with digitalbots from now and digital bots are powered of course by AI and Artificial Intelligencebasically breaks down into two mainly branches and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to buzz through thisbecause IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m sure youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re all familiar with it but there is Artificial General IntelligenceNow, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s strong AI and that is difference from narrow AI and that this doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t existyet, but thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s question about when it might arrive. Now, a lot of the theories likeVernor VingeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Singularity Theory pontificate whether are all of our networks mightcombined and soon create some greater than human machine intelligence. Likewise, RayKurzweil talks about his the belief that by the end of this century machine and humanintelligence will merged into one, and then of course thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Kevin Kelly in his onemachine concept that all of the processors on the world are starting to equate to neuronsin the human brains but the key thing about this is that it has been 30 years away forabout 50 years already. So the only people making any money on earth are the sciencefiction authors and Hollywood which leaves us with weak or narrow AI. And these donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢teven try to approximate even animal intelligence. They do one thing very efficiently andtheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re everywhere. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re all throughout society. As a matter of fact, they power themodern world and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because the modern world consistent largely of data. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢vecreated mountains of data and they arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t enough people to go through it all and bots aresupremely efficient at pouring through mountains of data that the modern world createsand thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what gives them so much power over us as people. Finance, telecom, security,and manufacturing all creating these data itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s worth noting that bots determine whetheryou get a mortgage such as FICO score. As a matter of fact bots might determinewhether you get a job interview because resume scanners look for keywords but bots alsoaffect us in a much more personal level even than that. Radiology and MRI, these filmsare examined prescreened by bots for follow up by doctors if an anomaly is detected. Soinstead of hiring a hundred doctors you can hire ten. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hard to imagine the more directimpact on your life as a matter of fact you better hope theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve written these bots well butof course bots are also scanning for all of your medical records to see whether you needto have your medical insurance cancelled. So theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re mining all of these data but they'realso listening to us as well and speaking to us if you called an airline or credit cardcompany recently you probably spoken to a bot actually within the confines of a givenbusiness transaction, bots can understand and speak reasonably well with humans. As amatter of fact, typical synthetic speech voice based entirely on text, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsynthetic voices seemrather fanciful.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ Now, I have one with the Kentucky accent but that seemedsorts for here but these voices allow a cost reduction of up to 90% in call centers andthatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the key once again is that bots are more efficient than human but of course bots arealso listening to us in other ways. Bots are largely responsible for the removal of thelimitation on wiretapping because bots can be put onto the line to listen for key terms andonce again notify a human being for follow up. So thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the key thing they removed anylimitations on wiretapping but bots are of course also watching us. The ballooningnumber of surveillance cameras out in the society is made possible largely by softwarebecause there arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t enough Orcs in Mordor to watch all of these computer monitors.million in the city of Shenzhen, China and its software that watches these monitorslooking for suspicious behavior like a sudden grouping of six or more people they canThere are five hundred thousand surveillance cameras in the city of London and twoincreasingly recognize us by the way we walk, by our facial features and also they canidentify people by race. So bots are really an unblinking eye and ever listening ear and ofcourse they make key decisions about our lives based on our data. Well thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s why itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢sworrying that are collective control of the internet seems to be slipping somewhat. Nowthis graph shows the growth of malware that is botnets in the last two years. Now duringthis time there was consorted effort by government, universities, private industry tocontain the spread of botnets that is armies of zombie computers controlled by bots, andyet during this time, these botnets spread 2162% and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s despite the consorted effort tostop them. So I would argue that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re in Darwinian struggle with narrow AI, and thatnature is currently selecting for bots and against humans and one reason efficiency.WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re just not as efficient in a structured society as bots. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s partly due to a confluenceof processing speech, storage, space increase, the spread of the internet and bandwidththat's made this possible. And anytime you bring a human in to do a job they bring awhole bunch of other stuff in with it like emotions, philosophy, goals, which bots do notbring. So having a big brain as we do is no guarantee of success in nature. In fact mostorganisms on earth do not have a big brain and do quite fine. Parasites for instance donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢teven have a central nervous system much less a brain and they out number all otherorganisms of earth three to one. So having a big brain is no guarantee of success and as amatter of fact humanity in general is not guaranteed a staring role in natureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pageant.ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s why it is important to understand the scope of this situation. Just look at thenumbers. This is the growth of the internet over the last 15 years come from 1995projected out to 2010. From 16 million to 1.6 billion people, well thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s people using theinternet but of course has that network expands so does the environment for programs.So this really isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t a perfect measure of the growth of the bot ecosystem. A bettermeasure would be hard dress base on all of planet earth. Fortunately, someone is keepingtrack of that as well and then the next 5 years, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s projected to go up a thousand percentwhich is much steeper than the growth in human users and we all know that our harddrives are expanding in size and memory and that creates a vaster environment for bots torun in. So we must be getting some benefits out of this if weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re building this vastnetwork for these synthetic organisms. Well, pardon the purple itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actually blue on myscreen. Human race is expanding in numbers and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s good we learn how to fixnitrogen into the soil, but what about us individually? What about the value of humanlife? ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a little different story and this is a disagreeable looking slide because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢sabout slavery and many people think that slavery is a thing of the past but unfortunatelywe are living right now through a golden age of slavery or 27 million slaves known in theplanet right now. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s more than at any point in recorded human history. So we look inthe United States what a healthy male sold for, adjusted for inflation it was a $40,000 in1850. In the year 2000, traffickers sell a healthy male labor for $600. So clearly ourhuman stock is dropping which is surprising because weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re big brained animals, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢rethe most innovative, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re capable of great flexibility and yet a rack server a good onegoes for a about a $1000. So who was using this network more, this internet? Machinesare humans. Ah, sad news there too, by 2010 Ziff Davis projects that machine to machinetransactions will out number all humans use over the internet and partly this is because ofEDI Electronic Data Interchange multi-companies out there leveling inventories,automatically ordering things from each other. There are also sensors on pipe lines andsmart phones and location tracking devices, but I put forward that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re hooking andinjecting into the internet hundreds of millions of bots without any clear considerationsabout the consequences to humanity and also there is no broad examination going onabout how these bots might interact with each other and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s without advancedintelligence just simple reactions. A good example of that was Wall Street in 1987,October 19th, 22.6% of the value of Wall Street disappeared in one day and was becauseof program trading bots reacting to each other. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s half a trillion dollars in value.Remember also that bots donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t observe borders. They donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t share our priorities. TheydonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need clean air or water and they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need liberty either. So, I would suggest thatbots are potentially a vector for human despotism as well. Because very few people areneeded to run systems with bots and as fewer people make decisions fewer people areneeded to make decisions and they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t learn to make decisions and that makes asmaller number of people, knowledgeable enough to sustain civilization and we mightlose our ability to control society. So, whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s building all this bots any way? Usual castof character of course corporations build tons of them to encapsulate business knowledgeGovernments create mountains of data that corporations and governments have to mine.You might be surprised to see religions up there. Religions do things like protect theirWikipedia page. They might create a bot to keep an eye on it make sure nobody changesit, and the good thing about the bot is it works 24/7 and it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to obey theSabbath. Criminal groups make some of the most sophisticated bots out there becausethey have to be stealthy in addition to doing what theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re doing, and of course they arejust every individuals student researcher or hacker, grey hat, white hat, or black hatcreating this big galaxy of software thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s doing who knows. And this zoo of bots Idivide in to two families, datavores that is bots that munch on data and predators, and youmight be surprised to see game bots on the predator site, but actually they inform themalware and botnet family, because actually game bots are where some of the mostsophisticated software is being made right now. The games, online games in particularreveal a lot about the future I think for social interactions and especially about ourinteractions with bots artificial life. So we have a lot to learn actually from games. Iknow it's shameless to use kittens, but IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m actually showing this to make a point. Alljuvenile mammals indulge and play. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s our way of probing new realities and of learningour place in them and so I would argue that this is fundamentally the same thing as thisbecause people are probing new realities. Now as work becomes more network basedand less reality based, this is very useful. I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one of the reasons why people playgames now well into adulthood. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because the world is changing so fast, they werecontinually juvenile and at last one aspect of their lives. Games, online games inparticular are also where humans interact most visibly with artificial life forms botsbecause there are bots all over the place in on line games. This is the game Second Lifeand this is the reporter Wagner James Au conversing with a chat bot. Now, thedifference here is that this bot looks like a bot. The truth is in most online games, botslook just like we do in games. That is a 10-foot panther with twin scimitars, but theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢reindistinguishable from us visually. The truth is nobody knows how many, yeah I know itcover the childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s eyes (Indiscernible). Nobody knows how many bots there are in onthere are in online games. I should have known better to have a scrolling thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s quiteinteresting. But you take a game like world of Warcraft, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an economy of 10 millionpeople and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bigger in some real world, small countries actually, I think I mightpause it. I should probably pause it before it gets to the really racing part. So, if you're inWorld of Warcraft and you are competing against bots because people write bots to playWorld of Warcraft and I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t mean to pick on Blizzard here because any successfulonline game where you can sell virtual things like virtual gold or magic items on the openmarket, efficiency counts and wherever efficiency counts youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll find bots and so gameslike World of Warcraft have bots in them and that makes it so that players, human playersare competing in this virtual space for virtual gold and for quests against artificial lifeforms and this is not a science fiction thing. This is really happening everyday and asmore bots appeared and players became irritated, publishers like Blizzard createdprograms like Warden, and what Warden does is it tries to find bots running on yourcomputer with the game client and as Blizzard started trying to find bots, bot developersmade them stealthy and it created a classic Darwinian struggle where the predator waschasing the prey and the prey adopted a strategy of camouflage and as a result rootkittechnology is now being driven in mostly by games, by games bots because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wheretruly stealthy software is being created on a daily basis and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s sort of an incubator. Hereby the way is an example of a botting system. This is one system playing nine charactersin the World of Warcraft. So, somebody who went through the trouble of writing aprogram that can play the game for you, but in this case, such a person can make hundredof thousands of dollars in the real word by selling the items that these bots gather andonce again stealth, I was able to sit down with Dr. Gary McGraw of Cigital IncorporatedHe is a foremost software security expert. He is also with Greg Hoglund the author ofthe books Exploiting Online Games and Exploiting Software, and he had this to say onthe subject of game bots and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s implications for security software in generalThe most interesting thing thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening now is you want to buildbotting systems thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s totally undetectable, so that you can have this game be playedautomatically and you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to be there, be present. You build a bot or an AIprogram to play the game for you, but it has to be undetectable. So, a lot of work hasgone into stealthyness and hiding processes and things that rootkits traditionally do. Theinteresting thing that happened is the whole thing shifted and now in my view rootkittechnology is actually being driven by gaming exploits. So, as an example of howgaming technology is leading rootkits can think about an undetectable bot system thatuses the fact that most PCs today are multi core systems. So, strangely the gamecompanies have decided to monitor the game process in UserLand on the same processorHowever, if you use hardware interrupt and just stopped that processor, guess what elsestopsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ the monitoring software. Then, you do some other exploit processing on theother core, inject the payload and off you go, and since thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s no Rip Van Winklemonitoring capability yet on these things, you can get away with that and build aninsanely undetectable bot these days.So, who wouldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve thought that such sophisticated software will be puttowards playing games? ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s why I think online games are the larval stage ofsomething much more serious in both our society and in our relationship with bots ingeneral. This is an animation that shows major botnet activity over a seven-day period inthe world and once again, botnets are armies of compromised computers. Now in red,youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see the Storm botnet and orange is the Kraken botnet. You noticed as the work daypasses, the activity booms! ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like an algal bloom. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very much a natural systemand this is what I mean about botnets evolving serious stealth because remember, no onecan stop these botnets, no one. Their numbers anywhere from half a million and, I lovethese the upper end 20 million, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how wide the spread is. NobodyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s quite sure howmany there are out there. The creators of these botnetsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ once again, nobody really knowswho they are but there are very small number of people who have a great deal of powerbecause they can rent time on these botnets to either send spam, or to direct distributedenial of service attacks against any target on the internet and that has real worldconsequences. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll give one example. A company named Blue Security in Herzliya,Israel in May 2006, this is an internet security company, they try to defend its clientsfrom an attack knocking their clients off the internet and the botnet then turned to BlueSecurity, focused its attack on them, prevented them from connecting to the internet nomatter what they did, and they eventually went out of business; and then the botnet turnedits attention back on its original targets. That was in Wired magazine in May 2006. TheInformationWeek has said that the biggest botnets can knock entire countries off theinternet and the Kraken botnet is estimated to have already penetrated 50 of the Fortune500 companies; and remember, a very few individuals control this and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re thenumber one threat to our collective control of the internet, which is worrisome in a waybecause bots are increasingly passing for human in everyday communications. Now, bythat I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t mean theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re passing the Turing test; this is more of a short form Turing test.You look at the way we used to communicate writing beautiful letters began in 19thcentury ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œDearest Martha, the children and I are fine.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ Everybody had different handwriting and we even had difficulty reading each otherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s handwriting, but today, veryoften "omg" and "lol," simple symbolic language, but again thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not the way wetypically communicate. Very typically, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll go to a website. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll choose fromdropdown combo lists, multiple choice items. These are all things bots are capable ofdoing and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re trying to be highly efficient in our communications andaccelerate things that is made the bar lower. CAPTCHAs can also be defeated by bots.Those are the completely automated public Turing test to tell humans and computersapart. A little squiggly lines at the bottom of a webpage. Those can now be cracked in60 seconds by bots. So, that line is blurring. So, when we break tasks into bot-likerepetition as we are doing, we removed the value of the unique adaptability of the humanbrain when we break it down into simple structured systems. Human beings are alsoprogrammable. As weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve seen in certain social setups. Any society that valuesobedience and devalues independent thought goes into this category. Now, thedisciplines of propaganda and advertising have been honed to a razorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s edge to press ourbuttons and get a predictable response. So, if you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t tell a human from a bot whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s toprevent a bot from pushing your buttons from getting you to react in certain specificways? We might think that would require that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d be visible to bots moment bymoment and actually, as bots are exploding in size and influence over us so too is ourvisibility to them. As a matter of fact, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re probably wearing this handy trackingdevice, the cell phone. Every few seconds its position is recorded in three-dimensionalspace and that data doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t go away, it accumulates. Same is true of your financialtransactions. All these things build a picture of you, who you are, and what youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re doingNow, Bruce Schneier, the renowned cryptographer and security expert, calls this datapollution. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the cost of gathering data, storing it, retrieving it, has essentiallydropped to zero which means data never goes away so that over time, you can go backand determine where somebody has been for years every single moment. Remember,bots are uniquely good at mining data and you may not have a problem with this actually.You might trust your government or whomever but what about 10 years from now orwhat if that data gets sold or maybe even to a foreign government and if you travel thatmight be a concern as well because it builds a complete profile of you. Probably, morethan you know about even yourself. In 2005, MIT research in Nathan Eagle did a studycalled reality mining where they track a thousand cell phones as they moved aroundcampus and at the end of that study, they wrote an algorithm that could predict with 85%accuracy what any individual was going to do next and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the power of simplesoftware. No conspiracy necessary. So, you might wonder what sort of data is beinggathered on a routine basis out there in reality. Now, this is a typical urban street andonce again, this is today; we zoom in, we can see surveillance cameras. Of course, theseare wired in once again to a system, the dataÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s archive, and software is analyzing theimages, keeping it for long periods of time but those arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t the only surveillance camerasout in the world, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s private surveillance cameras. Possibly, nowhere near as wellsecured data for sale to divorce attorneys and then off course, up at the end of the block,some weird guy with a webcam pointed at the street, once again, available to the web,visible to bot. All of these visual data creates a context for the other data points that arebeing gathered by cell phones, by smart phones, emails, and so forth. Then of course,thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the almost legacy process of gathering license plate numbers programmaticallyto track automobiles but thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s less and less necessary because new technologies make iteasier. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll pauses here. Many of you have Bluetooth devices in your car but you maynot know about the TPMS system; this is the tire pressure monitoring system. It wasfederally mandated by the 2001 TREAD Act. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s right. You all remember voting forthis, right? It says that any car manufactured up to 2007 has to have wireless nozzlepressure measurement devices that communicate with the computer onboard the car tosee that your tires are safely inflated. Now, they have to have a unique I.D. so that thecomputer knows your tires from the car next to you and of course, it is an open standardand makes it very simple to track the unique identity of an automobile; but of course, todo that you would have to have devices scanning. Fortunately, such scanners havestarted to spring up at choke points throughout modern cities. These are privately ownedscanners with the data being gathered and stored again because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s cheap to store data,vast amounts of data. This data can be piled up along with your financial transactionsand anything else and bots can go through it to find persons of interest or they just findpatterns or even just to sell you stuff. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll give you an example of just a few such devicesas a BlueSweep scanner and a BlueSweep scanner is a device that able to identify allbluetooth devices within its radius, identify what there capabilities are, and what exploitsthey might be vulnerable to. A BlueSniper can do this up to a kilometer away. LetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s go alittle further down the wall. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the Bluesnarfer you were all expecting. NowBluesnarfer can use an exploit and given to it by a Bluesweeper to steal your addressbook, your text messages, your calendar, your pictures of your kitties, and bluetooth carwhisperer can push advertising into your car speakers through your carÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bluetoothsystem. Now more worrisome, it could also be used to hook into your car bluetoothphone system to eavesdrop on conversations in the car. Now, if you combine that withsomething like the TPMS system or any future open standard device, you could prettymuch track a car and listen to itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s occupants as they move throughout the city at any pointin the future or at the moment itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening. Now, so youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re walking through thisgauntlet of scanning activity with all the wireless devices and again, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m sure we were allaware of this, and then thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s of course financial transactions every time we buy stuffwith a debit card or a credit card. Who, what, where, and when? Combine that withvisual data and all of the other points that tell us who was there with you, where you weregoing can be used to tell some very interesting stories. So itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a great constellation ofinformation being gathered on us at all times and then of course privately owned devicesHoovering up all these information. So this is the world you live in right now. Who knowswhat it will be like 10 years from now?And this goes into the increasing complexity of the bot ecosystem in general because ofall these corporate mergers have created a vastly complex system that no one reallyunderstands. You take mergers where they lay off half the IT staff, if half finishedprojects, maybe bots running that are completely forgotten doggedly pursuing someoriginal purpose that no one knows about and also maybe even competing with eachother even though the company is now one and not two. And then of course thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s theoccasional disgruntled employee who takes over the network and I know that soundsimpossible butÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦so this could lead to a loss of human authority. Humans no longer fullybeing in control because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really a system where historical decisions rule. Somebodyor some group of people created an algorithm that decided something was true a whileback and it is put into force and other people obey what it has to say and over time, itbecomes a black box. A proprietary mechanism that might in turn be folded into yetanother algorithm which becomes a black box and less people understand the proof of thelogic that went into that algorithm. Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book called, The Player Pianowhere society was completely on autopilot. Bots run everything including the factories.But I wonder if bots would be the ones working in the factories because we might get thecrap jobs because you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need to have a body to manage a structured process andthatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what society has become, a structure process. Humans offloading decision makingauthority and ask yourself, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWould you notice?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ Do you really know that 75% of thedecisions being made at your bank arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t being made by bots right now? Probably notSo rather than rising to some great complex golden age, I am concerned that humancivilization might take a side track and head towards a boolean age that is a timecategorized or described, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a constant bombardment of categorical questions that youmust answer. You canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t post any questions that arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t asked directly of you. I think wesee elements of that already, so thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a structured existence in a structures society and itis supremely efficient. And I think such a thing could give rise very easily to an elitegroup of people who would be the ones who understand how society works andeverybody else just answering the questions. HereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a quote from Carl SaganÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bookDaemon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Darkness. Carl Sagan wroteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œScience is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking. I have a forebodingof an America in my childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s or grandchildrenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s time. When awesome technologicalpowers are in the hands of a very few and no one representing the public interest caneven grasp the issues when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas orknowledgeably question those in authority when clutching our crystals and nervouslyconsulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish betweenwhat feels good and whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s true, we slide almost without noticing back into superstitionsand darkness.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And I think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the real danger there and having a small group ofpeople understanding how society works. So that bots has control mechanism, economicdisenfranchisement at the flip of a bit and you might not even know what went intomaking that decisions about you because remember we have vast quantities of data aboutus and bots are making qualitative decisions about us all the time. As a matter of fact itmight not be a person who decides who makes that decisions it might be an algorithm.What if control erodes further though? What if the last person who knew how to stopsomething or the last person with the passwords dies or quits? I think we could easilypicture a bot controlled corporation because corporations are already termed unnaturalpersons in the eyes of the law. They have all the rights of the human being, privacy,freedom of speech, with the big difference being that they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t ever die and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s verysimilar to a bot. So what if steps were made by corporations to give civil rights of sometype to bots for instance that you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the right to delete them from system and thatsounds a lot like DRM actually come to think it because you got to ask yourself whocontrols the data on your systems and in these systems. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a perfect example ofhumans ceding some of their rights to bots. So where does that leave us? Actually IdonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s this bad; although, I have painted a very dreary picture. If I count throughit I said that bots environment is exploding in size, their power over us is increasingvastly. HumanityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s value was plummeting and we are losing control of civilization. ButI do think thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hope because one thing humans do supremely well is adapt. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢reincredibly flexible and adaptable creatures. Now bots are inflexible without us and evenprimitive human societies can innovate tremendously when necessary. And in natureflexibility typically wins so if weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re to start over what would we do differently? Wellthis is The Long Now Foundations so letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s think big. What if we built a new internet justfor starters but this time built it to benefit the greatest number of people possible. What ifwe try to make it support our preferred way of government that is democracy because Ithink in the past, we built systems as a tool for society. What if we made systems, ITsystems the fabric of society itself, a reflection of it? Could we build an operating systemfor democracy? Could we hard code our values into the DNA of civilization? I think wemight be able to. I think a way that we could start this time would be by building anencrypted network, a Darknet to begin with that is not open automatically to all comers. Ithink weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d have at least a couple of qualifications for entry into this encrypted network.One would be that you are a verifiably human and not to be too exclusive, I think wecould let some bots in because they are useful when they behave but of course, we wouldhave to know the source code of these bots. So any bots that we would let in into thisproposed system would have to be white listed. That is a critical mass of humans wouldneed to review the code and agree that they are benign and of course, any misbehavingbot must be able to be banished by collective human action, that is a critical mass ofhumans voting them out and this would have to be baked into this network from the verystart and I think we would also have to have a secure cryptographic hash algorithm tomake sure that the source code of these bots doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t change and once again, if it does,bots are automatically expunged. But that still leaves the question of how to differentiatebots from humans which is what started this after all, because they are a potentiallyaggressive organism and I think the answer to that is literally all around us. I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢sthree-dimensional space because if we project this new network on top of reality, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢svery difficult for a bot to pretend to be us. This has been called augmented reality andthis had been kicked around for a few years but I think self defense against bots usdeveloping a new sensory perception is an ideal reason, a driving reason to implementsuch a system, because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what we need to do, is to develop new senses. Now, in mybook Daemon, such a system is implemented. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s called D-space and that by projectingdata on to three-dimensional space and seeing bots and other organisms coming at youwhen they want to change your data that really simulates whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening. Becauseanytime your data changes, it is potentially a threat to you. But the human mind is wiredto see it graphically and if we created an Internet much like this, we might better be ableto defend ourselves against these things. Now we would need heads-up glasses or hapticdisplay, but we wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need to wear them all the time. I think we could get a buzz onour smart phone that tells us some thingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s changed and we could put on our spectaclesand look into the next dimension. I think we could do that. But the key is that in thistype of network, you would be in control of your data. Anytime it changed, you wouldknow it. Because in the modern world already you are your data, if your data goes bad,youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re in a heap of trouble. So this really is self defense and I think this Darknet willoperate in parallel to the existing Internet and I think people would opt into it to getcontrol of their data if nothing else and especially, I think they would be willing to join anetwork where human action, collective action could banish bots. And I think this isalready familiar to us because weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re already doing this in games, carrying callouts overour head, projecting data on to three-dimensional space. When I said that online gamesare a larval stage of something more serious in our social relationships and with ourrelationships with bots, this is what I meant. I think weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re practicing for something inonline games. Social networks, Wikis, online games, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re exploring new realities.WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re already working on this. As a matter of fact, we already have the coordinatesystem worked out. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s called GPS. So we build big pieces of the infrastructure of thistype of network. But how would a new network like this, a Darknet work person toperson. I think it would look very much like an online game, walking with a callout tothose on the network, carrying your name, your reputation, your experience, your skillsso that people can recognize each other. Now people who are privacy advocates mightlook at this and say, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOh my God, this is a nightmare!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ But I would point out that yourdata is probably being sold to somebody just this moment and at least in this newnetwork, you would know anytime someone touched your data. You would know itinstantly. You would receive your ratings in such a system by your past interactions withother network members. As you dealt with them, they would rate you and you would ratethem and you would classify their skills and this would start to develop an open sourcedatabase on what this civilization can do collectively. It would keep its collective recordsas part of the system and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s good to have reputation in context especially if youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re tryingto buy a car or something like this, like the under coating. I wonder if it would encouragelike-minded people to hang out together to get better ratings and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m not sure that thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢sbad. I havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t decided yet, but it might make for some interesting changes in society.But what about bots pretending to be human, because of course, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one of the reasonsweÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve designed this. It would be very difficult for a bot to masquerade as human in sucha system because remember, illicit bots, bots that do not have their code approved by acritical mass of people would be banished instantly, which would leave botsmasquerading as humans as the only way to get around. But of course, a callout hoveringover nothing is a dead giveaway and hiring people to hold your bot for you does not scalevery well. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very expensive. So this has a sort of built-in natural protections againstthat, and I do think that this type of social arrangement has even greater implicationsactually. Because bots, although they are a threat, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve dealt with threateningorganisms before. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve developed symbiotic relationships with threatening organismsbefore and the very disinterestedness of bots in us is their great usefulness, because inpartiality, is a cornerstone of blind justice and blind justice is the cornerstone ofdemocracy. So one could picture that open source bots, that is bots that have their sourcecode reviewed by everybody and available to all could be supremely useful and impartialabout human affairs. And this would be a bot-mediated reality. This would be botsexamining whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on in the real world and moving information and decisionsthrough civic society on our behalf.IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to get a laser pointer for this and step you through this imposing diagram. So