Tag Archives: AI

Get back at internet scammers with Re:scam AI bot

One day we will have AIs roaming the internet and when they detect scammers writing one of their ludicrous messages about millions left in a bank, they will take a photo or note the IP address and send round a killbot. Until then, sadly, the only options we have when dealing with these massive pricks are to ignore them or have a lot of fun winding them up, pretending to be interested (see video at the bottom).

I read somewhere that scammers purposefully use bad spelling and grammar to weed out those who are more likely to immediately see through their bollocks. Apparently, gullible people just don’t pay much attention to what they read. Their other victims tend to be the less internet-savvy older generation. So in conclusion: they target the vulnerable, so it is fine to annoy or harass them as much as possible.

Replying to them is obviously time-consuming and tedious so the good news is that there is now an AI chatbox thing that will do that for you. The website and bot are called Re:scam and were created by Netsafe – you can check out the website here. If you can’t be bothered, all you actually need to do is to forward your spam/scam email to this address:

me@rescam.org

The AI bot will then keep the scammers busy and consequently give them less time to hassle others. Here is a brief video if you are still baffled:

Another option, of course, is to set up a fake email and bug the shit out of them. This is what James Veitch did and this is his hilarious TED Talk about it:

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The great AI race is now on

The other day I got Bixby – Samsung’s virtual assistant – on my phone. My phone also has Google assistant while my laptop and tablet have Siri. I am surrounded by virtual assistants, possibly the precursors to AI (Artificial Intelligence if you have just arrived in civilisation). I’ll be honest, I keep forgetting to use them.

These days the news is full of stories about the rise of AI. Well, Trump, North Korea, Brexit and AIs. Everything is basically alarming and it is hard to know what to be most shit scared about next. Recently an AI beat the world’s best GO player, Microsoft made a chatbot that became racist frighteningly quickly and China made several chatbots that started to praise America and were shut down. So good and bad.

The other day Vladimir Putin gave a speech where he said that whichever nation leads in AI will be the ‘Ruler of the World’. This then prompted Elon Musk to tweet:

“China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.”

So pretty scary all round. Being a massive optimist, I don’t think it will necessarily be all doom. People often think Skynet from Terminator or the Cylons. I agree with Mr Musk that killer robots for the army are probably a massively stupid idea. We need to tread carefully and when I look at the people currently in charge, I can certainly see urge for panic. But with calmer more intelligent minds helping out maybe it will all be ok. If you look at the history of nearly everything – some things are great and some are shite, yet still, we humans persist.

An AI might be like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – handy but mostly a bit annoying. Or like in Star Wars, where they can do robot stuff but are essentially like people (although in Star Wars, they are basically slaves which is bad). On a more positive spin, the AIs in Iain M Banks Culture novels are bloody great. In ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ robots and AIs are actually in charge and the aliens’ culture is massively better off. So who knows? It is going to happen and if you look at Trump, North Korea and Brexit, maybe we should welcome the robot overlords.

Maybe they have taken over already and we are all living in the Matrix. As long as I can drink beer, eat steak, travel a lot and play games, I am happy. All hail the robot overlords!

 

 

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