This is the year of AI. Intelligent chatbots like ChatGPT have blasted AI into the mainstream, making the technology easily accessible and showcasing everyday uses people. It is no longer a Terminator-type robot sent to destroy us; it’s helping us write emails, code, or even create new music.
Businesses are scrambling to find out how AI can help them. How can it make their people more productive, how can it introduce operational efficiencies, how can it make them loads more money? And, unsurprisingly, Wall Street wants a piece of the action, with investors keen to speculate on the next big thing.
But with good comes bad. As AI becomes an increasingly powerful tool, bad-faith actors are using it to commit cybercrimes and disrupt business. To better understand how the tech is changing the world, how to harness its immense potential, and the dangers, Campaign teamed up with the world’s largest fraud sensor HUMAN Security to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of AI.
A decade of disruption
“It is early days, but I think that entire industries are going to be disrupted within the next 10 years,” said Tamer Hassan, co-founder & CEO at HUMAN Security. “It will start with high-skill jobs that are complex and prone to human error. My early career was in aviation and helicopters, where human error causes 99% of mishaps, which is mind-boggling.
“In three to five years, we’ll see entire domains have AI-powered solutions in sectors like law, with technology used to interpret 300-page legal documents. That’s also true for writing code, for example. And the AI solutions will be so much better than non-AI solutions that it’ll take three to five years to disrupt entire industries. My prediction is that it’s going to be completely transformative over the next decade.”
That prediction may worry some, but there is nothing to fear from the machines, according to Darrell Blocker, a former CIA operative and station chief (now COO at Mosaic Security).
“I’ve been working with intelligence since the end of the Cold War, and I’ve never been more excited about something as I am about AI. People are speaking about AI in every language, figuring out how to leverage it, and thinking about how it can help target a terrorist running about in a certain part of the world. That’s a huge positive.
“I don’t understand the fear. Humanity is not going to be overrun by a bunch of machines. Machines will have to recognise that they have a master. I spent my life chasing bad guys, and I am not even a little bit afraid of AI.”
Money maker, market shaker
AI is considered an enormous growth industry, with various research predicting its value to soar into the billions or even trillions in the coming years. But Hassan said to think about AI as its own separate sector is a mistake.
“The numbers being talked about only scratch the surface, and AI is actually a tool for transformation in every industry. Pretty soon, there will be AI-powered industries and non-AI-powered industries – the new way and the old way.
“That really excites me. We are coming to the end of this version of the internet, and it will be replaced by something completely different. All businesses will have their own autonomous agent brokering on their behalf. It is truly a step change.”
But AI is only as good as the information it has, and there are concerns over ‘AI poisoning’, which has the potential to spread disinformation and do serious harm to individuals and businesses. Deepfakes, manipulated media, and doctored videos can spread fast online, as happened recently with a fake image of the Pentagon ablaze that briefly caused the US stock market to dip.
“This is an education issue. If you’re using one single news source as fact, then I’d suggest you should look elsewhere,” said Blocker. “I got calls from overseas asking if the Pentagon was really on fire. It wasn’t on any news channel across the world, so quite obviously, no – it’s not real. Don’t rely on one source; if you see something that upsets you, check out other sources to find out whether it’s real.”
“Think about the decisions you make based on this information,” said Dave Olesnevich, chief product officer at The Weather Company. “Think about the reward-risk quadrant. If you want a predictive bot to turn on the lights at home, go for it – there’s no risk. But if you’re making a decision on your finances or about your health, you should be using multiple sources of information.”
A special panel member, ChatGPT itself, chipped in with its own insight at this point, telling the audience: “One major concern with AI is the potential for bias and ethical implications.” How’s that for self-awareness?
Change of this scale will never be universally embraced, of course, and some sceptics will never be convinced about the capabilities, ethics, or safety of AI. Blocker told the audience: “There are some things in life you cannot control. Bruce Lee was right when he said you have to move with the water. It might not take you exactly where you want to go, but to fight or resist it is madness, and the same is true of AI.
“I’m really excited about what Gen Z are capable of. This generation will be the ones to save this planet. They’ve grown up with technology, with computer games and they are ideally suited to solve the challenges the world faces. Thank God for them; they understand the potential of technology and AI. All of the possibilities are my version of space exploration: that’s how exciting it is. I love AI.”
Taking on the enemy
The audience for the panel discussion included many professionals from the advertising world, one of whom asked Tamer how the industry combats bad actors who will look to use advances in AI to draw money out of the advertising ecosystem, and make the existing game of “cat and mouse” more difficult for cybercriminals.
“Six hundred billion dollars is spent in digital advertising every year; if even a fraction of that is lost, it means a multibillion-dollar business for fraud and cybercrime. The entire cybersecurity game is an economic one; you have to increase the cost to the attackers and lower the cost for defenders – that’s the only way to play.
“I flew Blackhawks and there’s something in defence theory called an OODA loop, which stands for observe, orient, decide, act, and you can map any enemy doing this. The objective is to make your enemy’s OODA loop go slower, and yours go faster and, in this case, less expensive.
“AI is democratic, so both sides can use it. It’s not the technology that will win; it’s the strategy.”
It’s not just cybercriminals that will look to take advantage of this quantum leap, either.
“I’ve chased terrorists for a long time, and they’ve been using technology and forms of AI for 15-20 years,” said Blocker. “But, they’re not as good as we are, they’re not as smart as we are, and they don’t have the breadth of experience we do.
“And I’m not just talking about the United States, nobody can fight this battle alone. The partnerships that grew out of 9/11 are going to save the world. Whether it’s counterterrorism or AI, the world is not going to end. I’m not going to allay everyone’s fears, but my advice is to read as much as you can about AI, and really try to understand what it can do.
“There’s no point swimming against the flow because it will drown you.”
Who your favourite robot?
Dave Olesnevich: R2D2, absolutely no hesitation. It’s the OG.
Darrell Blocker: B-9, which is the robot from Lost in Space. I have vivid memories of growing up in Japan and watching that robot saying ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’ To me, it was as real as you are sitting in front of me today.
Tamer Hassan: Mine is from Flight of the Navigator. It’s the robotic commander of the spaceship who’s called Max who David in the film calls the ‘Navigator’. They would argue about where the ship was going and that really sticks in my mind.
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don't have personal preferences or feelings, so I don't have a favourite robot. However, there are many impressive robots out there with various capabilities and designs. Some popular and fascinating robots include Boston Dynamics' Spot and Atlas robots, Honda's ASIMO, and Softbank Robotics' Pepper.
The panel…Darrell Blocker, COO, mosaic security (former CIA operative & station chief, TEDx speaker); Tamer Hassan, co-founder & CEO, HUMAN Security; Dave Olesnevich, chief product officer, The Weather Company, an IBM business (formerly IBM Watson advertising) and… ChatGPT, Actual Bot, OPENAI
HUMAN Security – the global leader in protecting enterprises by disrupting bot attacks, digital fraud and abuse with modern defense – is proud to announce its inclusion in TIME 's prestigious list of the TIME100 Most Influential Companies for 2023.