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Security In This Day & Age

Security In This Day &Age How new technologies are redefining its boundaries

Kaushik Anand

Security In This Day & Age
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

S ince the beginning of rapid human evolution and expansion, our security as an individual and as a species has been the key driver for our landmark inventions. The discovery of fire and its control was to protect ourselves from wild beasts and germs from raw food. The invention of the wheel was to secure our journeys so that we could travel longer distances with less fear and more adventurous spirit. The necessity for shelter came out of a primal need for security in terms of permanence of location. We can quote many more examples, but it is clear that security of self and/or community is what motivates us for achieving progress.

In this day and age, however, security has taken a more nuanced and subtler meaning to all of us. Sure, we still install expensive security measures in our homes to protect our valuables and property (unless, of course, you’re Kevin McCallister from the Home Alone series).

But, nowadays, security includes emotional and psychological dimensions, as well as legal and ethical standards. Eminent people like M.K.Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. have fought for the freedom and security of their respective oppressed classes. Even now, we have many parades to defend and equalize the LGBTQ community around the world.

In light of this, we are also witnessing the emergence of new technologies with rapid scope for expansion like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain etc. Also, we are witnessing the destructive effects of technology intrusion into our lives, such as with the Facebook data leaks or the Cambridge-Analytica scandal.

In this scenario, we must look at how these technologies can help or harm our notions of security, how they could possibly broaden our very definition of security, and a few personal ideas of mine about how they could be of huge benefit to us in the long run (or even in the short run).

Fair warning though, I am NOT an expert at any of these technologies. I’m just a normal guy, like you, trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world, using my own limited knowledge to navigate through this labyrinth.

Artificial Intelligence &Security
Security In This Day & Age
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash How It Could RedefineSecurity

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly, whether it be in increased interactions with the user based on past experiences (cognitive intelligence), ability to understand what the user is feeling based on stimuli cues (emotional intelligence), or in grasping the external environment to tailor the response it gives even further (social intelligence).

However, how far can this go?

As AI systems continue to reach human standards in complexity, it’ll start to develop a new form of security i.e. security for programs. And I’m not even talking about firewalls and antivirus, it’ll soon involve security guidelines for robots as well. A basic example is the fundamental Three Laws of Robotics devised by the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov and made popular by the dystopian representation in “I, Robot”.

However, there have been many papers and surveys written on the topic of ‘Robotic Ethics’. For instance, a survey conducted in the year 2011 by Mr. Pawel Lichocki and his team from the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory ( LASA ) of EPFL talks about the main problem in ethics (when a robot causes harm) being figuring out who is responsible when such an incident happens, the humans operating it or the robots themselves. More recently, there has been an International Conference on Robotic Ethics and Standards (ICRES) 2018 where the keynote speeches have been about creating a modern standard in AI systems, about autonomous weapons and the future of war etc.

Therefore, we can see that Artificial Intelligence can possibly branch out the definition of security to include human-robot and robot-robot interactions, which must be done as a safeguard against dystopian futures and unfavourable utilisation by antisocial third parties.

How It Is Currently Helping Achieve BetterSecurity

AI is finding a wide variety of applications in terms of personal security as well as detecting potential threats.

The main application for AI in this sphere is in identification of possible threats (which have been already uploaded into its database) and then scanning the external environment (such as in malls, parks and other public places) to identify, analyse and pinpoint the suspect, thereby acting as a sort of preemptive strike or counter-attack in case of suspicious activity. To this effect, some technologies have already been developed to implement this.

The first technology is Evolv Edge , developed by Evolv Technologies , which is using AI to scan and profile all the persons passing through, say, a particular security checkpoint, using accurate visual sensors and face recognition technology. Once that is done, for each individual, the AI program cross-verifies it with its database for suspects and criminals, and currently, it can identify potential threats at the rate of 1 2 persons per second (which is quite a speedy process!)

The second prominent technology is Deep Sentinel offering a complete home security package which scans real-time for suspicious activity, recognizes it and alerts the police in addition to alerting the home owner via a customized mobile app. You can check about this security system here .

Even in military purposes, drones equipped with AI are able to scan an environment for threats and are able to traverse terrains difficult for humans to reach as well, thereby increasing the reach of armies for surveillance, reconnaissance and counter-terrorism. A prime example is Hivemind Nova , a quadcopter-type drone developed by Shield AI which is powered by Hivemind, a machine learning application which I will talk more about in the section on Machine Learning.

How I Believe It Can HelpSecurity

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