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FOX Explores the Dangers of a Smart World


AUGUSTA (WFXG) – It may seem far-fetched, but artificial intelligence is gaining power and speed by the day. 


“They can change routes, they can cause major collisions at intersections in large cities,” said Zach Hodges, the COO and vice president of Cyber Security Solutions. “Those cars are very capable to do what you tell them to do, but whenever the technology is modified by a hacker it can do some scary things.”

“For your car to be taken over, through the infotainment system, through the autonomous system,” explained Steve Foster, a special agent in charge for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “They need to be able to get into the car to begin with, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”


As criminals grow more sophisticated, their ability to turn AI for evil increases.

“You can design the database or the system to directly go into other collisions,” said Hodges. “So, when you think of interstates, major highways, or cities, if you have cars going off their routes, you can cause serious injuries or fatal situations.”

It’s a big reason why the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has expanded its repertoire to stretch into the cyber world.

“The thing that scares people goes back to the Terminator movies, where it become self-aware and it takes over,” said Foster. “With us, it’s more about the natural progression of the computer technology.”

That technology allows for phishing—taking your passwords and personalized information.

“What we see is that for every technology that has a legitimate purpose, a criminal finds a way to exploit that,” said Foster.


Creating those barriers is the priority for Hodges’ company, Cyber Security Solutions.

“It’s cool to see artificial intelligence is developing and getting more robust and getting cool, but when you look at the security aspects and the industry that it’s developing, it is getting kind of scary,” he said.

The only issue if a car is taken over, it’s reactive not proactive.

“For us to be able to get into it, we have to physically be able to get into it,” said Foster. “There is no remote sitting in a room somewhere where we’ll be able to access the technology. So, it is always after the fact.”

The show delves into a major issue: time, and what happens when AI has time to develop.

The more information a criminal can glean from your email, the more likely that AI can take it and flip it on its head.


“Whoever the hacker was, they sat back and listened,” said Hodges. “Because they’re talking the same way the admin or the manager at that company, when they’re sending out emails on their behalf, to really make it look like they’ve sent the email.”


With billions of dollars are at stake in the industry, the silver lining is those fighting it are finally making some inroads.


“But from 2018 to 2019, it actually dropped by 4 percent,” said Foster. “It doesn’t sound like much, but it shows that the answers to the problems are creating a change in the trends.”


To learn more about previous AI going rogue like Zo, please click here.


Copyright 2020 WFXG. All rights reserved.



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