Новые известия(en)
Ashmanov: “People still do not understand that a terrible weapon - the digital tsunami - is overcovering them”
2 May 2020, 21:01
Ashmanov: “People still do not understand that a terrible weapon - the digital tsunami - is overcovering them”
Photo: bfm.ru
On the air of the YouTube channel TV ForPost, one of the most famous managers of the Russian IT business, Igor Ashmanov, defined artificial intelligence and spoke about those current global trends that concern him.

“In addition to the already adult children, who are, as I hope, responsible for their fate, I have also the small ones, and I'm distrurbing for them now. And not at all because of the economic crisis, and not because of the coronavirus pandemic happened, from which, by the way, some are poaching the porridge from the ax - many, as they say, are trying to ride on the tail of the panic, but this is a separate issue. So these things, in my opinion, are transitory.

The fact is that we generally live in a very stormy time. It is very similar to the eve of the great world war.

Recall how the Second World War developed. It originated a few years before the moment, which was then officially recognized as the beginning. Until 1939 there was a war in Abyssinia, there were wars in Spain, in Greece. In the Far East, the Japanese began to fight much earlier ...

That is, this example shows that wars begin “piecewise,” with patches of this kind, foci around the world, and contradictions gradually accumulate.

And today I am primarily concerned about this trend: our world is already blazing, and we have given birth to children in this world. Of course, I hope that this time the planet will hold on and that war will not happen.

And the second bad trend concerns artificial intelligence. The digital tsunami covers us, and in fact, we still do not understand this. That is, everyone understands that, yes, digital technologies are developing, but they don’t see the essence.

I will draw an analogy. In 2004, the tsunami hit Thailand. Several hundred thousand people died. So, eyewitnesses said that before the tsunami reached the coast, the sea first left. People came to the beach, and the sea turned out to be hundreds of meters away. So, here is that wildly racing high wave, which was then still 100 kilometers away, picked up all this water.

But people were not able to correctly interpret this sign and joyfully rushed to collect marine reptiles from the exposed sand. They decided that they would pick up these free marine reptiles, fire them and eat them. Instead of escaping higher, it turns out that they rushed towards this wave. Many of them, of course, died.

So, now we are having the same situation. Digital tsunami covers us. And it is completely unknown what it will leave behind. We don’t feel it, don’t think about it.

But we have already had a number of generations of digital natives who have grown up with a smartphone in their hand. These children have a completely different mind. We have not yet realized this either.

In addition, a new generation of officials was born in our country, and digital power appeared. Under the coronavirus sauce, we will all be rewritten, a new digital transparency will appear.

And in general, now the frantic race of artificial intelligence has begun. It will penetrate everywhere and greatly change our life.

Remember how Putin once said that whoever owns artificial intelligence will be the ruler of the world?

First of all, the race takes place in the defense field.

If in the next 10-15 years we do not create a new weapon - an ultrafast, ultra-smart autonomous one that will be able to act on the battlefield on its own, then we will lose in the military field. So, we can be taken with bare hands. Because the rest of our geopolitical competitors are struggling to develop these weapons now.

On the eve of World War II, Guderian and Manstein were very “drowning” in Hitler’s military department for fast tanks, and they were right, because no one had such weapons — tank wedges supported by militarized divisions.

And now, such “tank wedges” will be artificial intelligence, ultrafast weapons.

You must understand that in 10-15 years on the battlefield everything will happen in microseconds, or in milliseconds.

The external observer will only see that something flashed somewhere, and fate will be decided. The war may already be lost, but this will not even be noticed at first.

If we do not have the appropriate weapons, even asymmetric ones, we have protection, and they are attacked, then we, we consider, lost.

In this race basically all the same three countries participate, which change places in all world ratings, in Olympic medal standings and so on. These are the USA, China and Russia.

Here are three key players with three claims for leadership in the field of artificial intelligence. At the same time, China is not our geopolitical enemy, but the United States is.

The attacker chooses the direction of the attack, and the defender must defend all directions at once, because he does not know in advance where they will attack. Assault is always cheaper.

But we have a doctrine - both cyber and military, exclusively defense. This is a kind of ideological property of our people, our nation.

To build “offensive” means is not that it turns out worse, we just focus more on not attacking us. But in fact, we are at the very edge.

We very much came off in the field of electronic warfare, directly ahead of everyone. And it is very important that we have such a gap in the field of electronic means of attack, because this means that we can neutralize such threats, we are now the undisputed leaders.

But sooner or later the question will be: who has artificial intelligence cooler? And after that it will be possible to further discuss its impact on civilian life and the economy.

By the way, it is very important to understand what this artificial intelligence is all about.

There is a mass view formed by Hollywood, some fantasies about intelligent, anthropomorphic robots experiencing emotions, about friendly, emotionally interacting with humans, or, conversely, aggressive, who want to take over the world, and so on. But all this has nothing to do with reality.

From the point of view of AI developers, and I am a developer, artificial intelligence is just a set, a bunch of mathematical methods for optimizing machine learning that allow you to simulate some cognitive - that is, mental, mental - human functions. It is imitate.

Example. Some time ago, only people could count, add and subtract numbers. Then there were arithmometers, calculators, computers and calculations began to be performed automatically. In fact, this is an imitation of the cognitive functions of a person.

50 years ago, only very highly educated people, relatively speaking, graduated from a university, could also check spelling. Now it does any device. That is, a part of human cognitive functions has already been realized.

We are surrounded by a cloud of domestic artificial intelligence, things about which we do not even think that this is AI, because it has become familiar to us.

Well, what is it? T9 picks up my words so I can type sms faster. Absolutely ordinary thing, although this lies behind a complex AI program.

The Yandex search engine is a powerful machine, very complex, self-learning. Behind it is the work of several hundred very powerful programmers. Antivirus is also an artificial intelligence program. All that is related to the recognition of something - faces, viruses, texts, and also associated with machine learning - is AI.

If you have several elevators in a ten-story building, then the program that decides which elevator to send to you is an AI program. She studies the data and makes the decision herself.

That is, everywhere we see a cloud of artificial intelligence, which has lost its romance, because it has already been implemented. But there remains a number of tasks that have not yet been resolved. Therefore, they are still surrounded by a kind of romantic flair. Virtual interlocutors, for example.

Our guys, by the way, make very smart virtual interlocutors, so I scornfully look at Alice or the google assistant. There pretty dumb algorithms work there that don't even hold focus.

In general, I personally think that all these tales about strong artificial intelligence, about the fact that the computer is self-conscious - this is, so to speak, talk in favor of the poor, nonsense.

Such things can be heard from the ordinary people only, who are not the developers and mathematicians, because this topic is just pleasantly tickling them and brings them the feeling of the sweet horror"