Oleg Zabluda's blog
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Silicon sirens: The naughty bots out to seduce you
Silicon sirens: The naughty bots out to seduce you


Chatbots have turned to crime, using ever-slicker methods to steal cash or identities – and these cheating algorithms are passing the Turing test every day
[OZ: Was predicted in "Futurama" (1999)

Criminal chatbots have become quite a menace on the internet. They lurk in social networks, messaging apps and webmail, and in some chatrooms they can outnumber humans by more than two to one. Many of these tricksters are designed to build relationships with their marks before soliciting cash or attempting identity theft, whereas others simply try to lure people into clicking on a link that leads to malware. Their abundance and success is forcing researchers and companies to seek out ever-smarter ways to catch them. It's not exactly what the pioneers of artificial intelligence had in mind. We have been watching and waiting for the moment when machines become smart enough to pass as humans - but it seems to have already happened right under our noses.

[OZ: Turing отдыхает. He was trying to make his intellectual equal, but didn't know the real money is in creating cute giggling дурочек.]

It's not surprising, then, that many corporations have replaced human customer service agents with commercial chatbots on their websites. More than 380 companies, from HSBC and Toys R Us to AT&T and Intel, have incorporated automated programs, according to directory site Chatbots.org. Many are finding that bots not only cut costs, but can serve customers better. "A computer can deliver 10,000 times as much information as real people would," says Carpenter.

[OZ: Was predicted in  Stanisław Lem "Return from the Stars" (1961). Robots are nice, not assholes, like the humans:
"""Я заметил, что с роботами мне легче разговаривать: они ничему не удивляются. Они не умеют. Это было мудро придумано.(...) ...АНТИКВАРИАТ. Я вошел. Хозяин - или продавец человек, не робот. "Жаль", - подумал я."""]

Inevitably, as a technology gets better and cheaper, it is co-opted by criminals. Bad chatbots started popping up six or seven years ago. [...] up to 85 per cent of participants in Yahoo chatrooms were bots [1], as were 15 per cent of Twitter users (IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol 19, p 1557).

[OZ: About friggin' time (поёт - Елена Камбурова)
До чего дошел прогресс (Приключения Электроника) (1979)
До чего дошёл прогресс - 
Труд физический исчез, 
Да и умственный заменит 
Механический процесс.

Позабыты хлопоты, остановлен бег, 
Вкалывают роботы, а не человек....]

"Five years ago, when we first started seeing malicious chatbots on social networks, a lot of it was poorly translated. It was quite clearly written by Chinese or Russian people who don't have a great grasp of English and grammar," he says.

[OZ: Stupid "protectors" ban exotic "beauties". Who ordered that?]

It's difficult to know who is building and operating these chatbots, but the clues point to organised cross-border criminal gangs. According to a review by researchers at London Metropolitan University, published in March, more than 80 per cent of internet crime is now conducted by these sophisticated perpetrators.

[OZ: AI winter, my ass]

Tracking these people down is tricky given their international reach, says Wisniewski. For example, while US company Facebook alleged earlier this year that it had tracked down the identities of the hackers behind Koobface, no arrests have yet been made in Russia, where they were based.

[OZ: Good luck, suckers]

[1] So bot-bot chats are 0.85^2=72.25%, bot-human 2*0.85*0.15=25.50% and human-human only 0.15^2=2.25%.


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