Hybrid Blockchain Mode

 

Denying the impact of Blockchain technology is a difficult case to sell these days. Almost every industry is beginning to comprehend Blockchain’s impact and understand how it will revolutionize the future.  After all the Blockchain bridges a very important gap, that of trust.

The proposals put forward are so far revolutionary by all means, overhauling currency, revamping organizations as we know them, ridding the world from intermediaries, and even changing the way we communicate with each other.

If we take one-step back, as impressive as these initiatives sound, they all seem too difficult to implement, in fact, they all want to replace the current order with something entirely new. While this will certainly be true in the end, the path may be somewhat more of an evolution than revolution in many cases.

An alternative view for the application of Blockchain technology is of a multi-step approach. First, the Blockchain acts as an enhancer to the current state of affairs, running in a hybrid model where the current way of doing things is significantly enhanced by the Blockchain.  Second, the world moves into full blockchain adoption. Last, Blockchains integrate and coordinate with each other. This journey needs to progress in incremental steps mainly because:

  • Blockchain technologies are not yet ready for mass adoption in many fields. The limitations on transaction throughput have proven to be a showstopper especially for micro transaction applications such as IoT, and the alternatives or upgrades are still in their early phases.
  • The work required to overhaul some of the legacy platforms is turning out to be a daunting one.
  • Regulatory frameworks have yet to adopt to what the Blockchain brings to the world, and without development on that front is hard to imagine the world completely switching to Blockchain-based versions of whatever it is that we are revolutionizing.
  • Blockchain as a technology is too good to wait for; therefore, incremental implementation of the technology as it matures will propagate across many industries as it matures.

Within this current state of affairs, the case for leveraging the Blockchain for an in transition platform has many merits.  With this view, we will have time to bridge the gaps standing in the path of Blockchain mass adoption while retaining what works today.

We illustrate this idea by taking the proposals put forward to revolutionize the email system as an example.  Current initiatives propose replacing SMTP with a Blockchain based protocol, changing the way emails are stored into Blockchain based repositories.  All these activities require major changes in infrastructure across organizations, the introduction of new protocols, and even changing the addressing scheme we use.

What if we find an 80/20 approach to utilize the benefits of the Blockchain without overhauling the entire email world?  This was the question, which we set forward while exploring the idea. To start, we first looked at the main benefits of turning emails into Blockchains, which are as follows:

  • End to end security and encryption of transferred data
  • An independent and agreed upon transaction ledger (proof of email transaction)
  • Anonymity
  • Decentralization

The above benefits largely will be responsible to significant reduction of Spam email and also Phishing attacks through email as traceability, authenticity and integrity will be built-in features of the platform.

We began to explore the possibility of achieving these goals without changing how emails work from the ground up.  By running a Blockchain in parallel to SMTP, we can achieve the first two goals and partially the third with minimal interference.  We call this approach Hybrid Blockchain Mode, the case for this approach is as follows:

  • Its simpler to improve an existing system than replacing it
  • Implementation and adoption is generally faster
  • Cost is minimal
  • Running the Blockchain enabled features in parallel provides users with choice (if we take the hybrid automobile analogy, then this is equivalent to the user having the choice between hybrid Vs all electric modes)

We will detail here an approach to secure Emails using encryption while utilizing the Blockchain as a medium of key exchange and transaction ledger.  The transaction ledger provides overall accountability and traceability for email exchanges while the encryption is really just an easy add-on to the whole idea.  This system runs in parallel to SMTP, not as a replacement to it, providing users with the option of either running on pure SMTP or Blockchain enhanced mode (we call this mode the registered email mode in the example we provide)

We have to emphasize that we view this hybrid approach only a stepping stone towards end-to-end Blockchain based email infrastructure, however the benefits of having a non-disruptive integration with Blockchain at this point in time merits consideration, below is our view on how we foresee Email platforms evolve on the long run using this intermediary step.

 

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Why is it needed

Email encryption alone is no longer enough, the ability to track email flow as transactions is becoming a necessity, especially in cases where business is conducted and real time validation of email flow is required.  Think billing, invoicing, and contract exchange.  We also need a stronger authentication mechanism for user identities. Securing email accounts as we do in cryptocurrency wallets for critical transactions is a necessity today.

In practice, email encryption today is implemented on the email provider level in most cases, GMAIL to YAHOO, etc.  This approach provides in transit security for emails only; it does not take into account many other exposure levels. Additionally, tracking and investigating email transactions is also a complex task today, often requiring access to many internal email platforms and reviewing large amounts of logs for traces of email exchange evidence.  Utilizing email as a tamper proof platform for legal exchange is held back by this limitation.

Our approach addresses these challenges of with a simple modification to how existing emails can work when we augment SMTP with BlockChain as an additional security layer. Expits Registered Email solution gives the extra option to the user to send an email through a secured or a regular channel on per email message basis.

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A quick comparison between the three different states of email security will help illustrate the value of having a hybrid version of email systems that use the Blockchain for security applications.

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How it works

We developed two distinct components to augment email security

  • An outlook plugin that connects to a Blockchain (in this case the Ethereum Ropsten Testnet)
  • A smart contract on Ethereum

Outlook plugin

The Outlook plugin is responsible for handling all activities taking place between the Blockchain and the email client including sending/receiving mechanisms. We chose outlook due to its popularity and ability to be enhanced via simple plug-ins.

We built the plugin using .NET (C#),  Ethereum supports this approach via Nethereum, a.NET integration library for Ethereum, this approach also allowed us to interact with Ethereum clients like geth, eth or parity using RPC.

While designing the plug-in we took into consideration not to alter any behavior Outlook users are used to while sending or receiving emails. So, the main entry points for our plugin are embedded within the new-email and read-email screens.

The plugin is designed to ensure the below features:

  • Security:
    • “Rijndael Symmetric Encryption Algorithm” is used as our email content encryption algorithm.
    • “RSA Asymmetric Encryption Algorithm” is used to encrypt the shared key. This allows us to protect the shared key during transit via the Blockchain.
  • Integrity:
    • After the original email with its attachments (if any) are encrypted. We then use the “SHA256 Algorithm” to hash the encrypted email.
    • Hashing acts as an insurance policy for both the sender and recipient to detect any alteration attempts while emails are in transit
  • Traceability:
    • All validations, key exchanges, and audit trails take place via the Blockchain, creating a proof of transaction per email
    • The current email status is updated by referencing the Blockchain contract on each side of the transaction (sender/recipient).

Smart Contract

The contract is written in “Solidity” which is a contract-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts. It was influenced by C++, Python and JavaScript and is designed to target the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Our smart contract is designed to follow the sending and receiving steps. Each step is represented by a method responsible for either checking a value for verification or saving a value for later retrieval. The contract also includes some helper methods for validation. Below are our main smart contract methods:

  • uploadEmailId:
    • Description:
      • Responsible for saving the recipient Ethereum public address along with the email Id which will be used as a reference for all communications between the sender and the receiver.
    • Used by: Sender.
  • confirmReceivalAndUploadEmailHash:
    • Description:
      • Responsible for saving the email hash provided by the recipient for sender’s verification.
      • Responsible for saving the RSA public key provided by the recipient for the sender to use it in encrypting the shared key.
    • Used by: Recipient
  • getEmailHash/getEmailEncryptionPublicKey
    • Description:
      • Responsible for getting the previously saved values of the email hash and the RSA public encryption key by the recipient.
    • Used by: Sender.
  • confirmEmailHash
    • Description:
      • Responsible for confirming the hash provided earlier by the recipient. Also, it saves the encrypted shared key by the RSA public key provided earlier.
    • Used by: Sender.
  • getEmailKey
    • Description:
      • Responsible for getting the encrypted shared key that will be used by the recipient to decrypt the original email.
    • Used by: Recipient.

Process flow

Below is the main flow of both the Outlook plugin working along with the Ethereum smart contract. The process Is performed locally by both parties with most tasks flowing through the etherum contract except for the email transmission step which is carried out via SMTP

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  1. The sender encrypts the email using a shared key.
  2. The email Id of the encrypted email is uploaded to the contract along with the recipient Ethereum public address.
  3. Sender A sends the encrypted email to Receiver B
  4. The recipient hashs the recieved email and hash value to the ethereum contract. The recipient also uploads the encryption public key used for shared key exchange.
  5. The sender validates the hash on the ethereum contract for validation.
  6. The sender encrypts the shared key and uploads it to the contract.
  7. The recipient retrieves the encrypted shared key via the Blockchain contract and decrypts the email.

Sending email

The following steps illustrate the send actions (manual and automated) to complete the email exchange

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Receiving the email

The following steps illustrate the send actions (manual and automated) to complete the email exchange

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We designed the process not to interfere with how SMTP works. So, the first step is carried-out inside the new email window which all users are familiar with. Our plugin user will encrypt the email to be registered with a shared key. The encryption process includes generating an email Id to be used as an email reference and the email hash which acts as an invisible seal to the email.  The output of this step is an encrypted email as an attachment to the original email. The user then will place a transaction that includes the email Id along with the recipient Ethereum public address on Ethereum using our contract as the first entry point on the blockchain for that email. The user will then send the email normally using Outlook.

After the email is received, the recipient then will confirm the email receival. In that step, the user will hash the received email and generate a public/private encryption keypair to be used by the recipient for encrypting/decrypting the shared key later on. Using our plugin, the user will place a transaction on Ethereum including the email hash and the public encryption key. This part of the process acts as the signage of the recipient on receiving a registered email.

The sender then will verify that the sent email was not altered by validating the hash provided by the recipient. Once confirmed, the sender will then place a transaction on Ethereum containing the shared key used to encrypt the email. The sender will use the public encryption key provided by the recipient to encrypt the shared key to ensure the security of the email content.

As a final step, a transaction is placed on Ethereum by the recipient confirming the retrieval of the encrypted shared key. The recipient will then decrypt the shared key using the private key of the public/private keypair generated earlier. Using the decrypted shared key, the recipient will be able to decrypt the registered email and then reveal its contents.

As you can see, we used the Ethereum Blockchain as our mean of transferring all necessary information needed to complete the email registering process benefiting from the main feature of the blockchain which is its immutable transactions ledger.

Currently known limitations

While this project is aimed towards validating the case for hybrid Blockchain applications, it is by no means ready for production or wide adoption use yet, the limitations we have identified so far are as follows:

  • Transaction steps required is high:
    • Users are used to sending emails with one click. introducing any additional clicks is a drawback to this current proof of concept implementation.
  • Limits on Blockchain TPS rates:
    • Current network performances are by no means ready to handle global email traffic.  Alternative ledger approaches such as Tangle and lighting transactions soon to be introduced into Blockchain networks will be the answer in the future, just not today.
  • Slowness:
    • The current average block time of ~15 seconds is slow for people used to sending emails in a 1 second click. Especially given that every step of registering the email is carried out as a transaction on the Blockchain, this means users will have to wait for some time to finish all the steps and have their final email decrypted and registered.
  • Smart contracts complexity:
    • Having a Gas limit can be an obstacle for running complex tasks especially on the recipient side who may elect not to spend the required Gas for receiving emails. We can introduce an approach in which the sender bares all the costs, this is an approach we are currently looking into
  • Anonymity
    • We have not yet decided on identity protection approach on the long run for such a system, the challenge we are facing has to do with stickiness of participants public address, which will be on the long run associated with that participants email ID.

Summary and the road ahead

The approach we introduced here is one for the in-transition case from a pre to post Blockchain world.  We argue that the hybrid implementation of Blockchains, in which existing systems run in parallel to the Blockchain, is in many cases the most realistic way forward.  The example we use to illustrate this concept is based on email security.  With simple modifications, an email system can benefit from many capabilities the Blockchain brings forward without changing any of the underlying email components.  Our aim from this effort is to highlight the benefits of running Blockchains in hybrid mode.  We are just at the beginning of the exploration task.  Use cases similar to this one will help bridge the transition gap to Blockchain based systems.

We see a future for this approach evolving in two fold, for email client developers and email providers, incorporating this approach into their mail clients is straightforward.  Providers can easily add these as options in their current clients while giving users the choice for which Blockchain/contract to join.

For Blockchain platform developers, adding specific features within their platforms to handle email may be a key differentiator around platform dominance as this technology evolves.  One candidate feature we are currently exploring is Ethereums precompiled zkSNARK contracts use to extend anonymity of mail traffic through Ethereum.

Further information

GitHub

Our GitHub page includes source code for the above example and precompiled test client for Microsoft Outlook: https://github.com/expitlabs/blockchainsolutions

Demo Video

 

Contact information

info@expit.com

Social Media contacts

Twitter: @ExpitLtd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/expitco/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/expit

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CES 2016

With the event officially over as of yesterday, and given that it’s my first CES ever, I’d like to share my impressions and overall findings here, perhaps to reflect back on them down the line and have a reference point to what I thought of as the most important upcoming shifts in the technology world.

 

There were more refrigerators than PC’s on Display!

If anything screams the end of the PC era it won’t be louder than CES.  Not a single major PC manufacturer exhibited, no Dell, HP, Lenovo.  I saw far more refrigerators and dishwashers there.

 

People are competing on the marketing front now, think commoditization

CES was clearly about an industry going through mass commoditization, differentiation on innovation was scarce, most companies competed on design, color, marketing muscle.  This is a clear indicator for the lack of innovation and regression to industry norms.  Even the coolest ideas there were more about conveniences that would be nice to have at most like a USB stick that doubles as a AA battery or a robotic drink mixer.

Another place I saw this was during the key notes from NetFlex and Youtube.  Both organizations were highlighting their original content.  They brought in actors on the main stage, and announced new shows.  Nothing about technology was mentioned except for higher resolution perhaps.

 

The future is full of drones and people with goggles on their heads

The first personal drone was on display, many companies were showing off more of the same stuff around drones, but it was a big section indicating the level of interest.  Regulators were also exhibiting, perhaps indicating the need for regulation in this space as it goes main stream to transport goods, deliver medical supplies, monitor facilities, and even transport people very soon.  VR and augmented reality was also a big section.  I feel like VR will become a main force in the future however not just yet.  The goggles are heavy and bulky, the views are still a bit distorted, the software still lags behind desktop.  I think it still needs a couple of generations more before it becomes compact and agile enough for everyday use.

 

The innovation that did come up was behind CES

Its no longer about the stuff on display, it’s about what’s behind it that makes it run better.  IBM keynote was all about that, at first I thought, whats IBM doing here!

But once IBM CEO started explaining it all made sense.  The intelligence IBM is building to make consumer robots smarter or sportswear more aware is IBM’s part of the story.  Cloud intelligence and power delivering more intelligent things at home.

Which takes me to the next point, IoT, which was also there, Samsung made that very clear.  the real technological competition is there as Samsung gave a subtle hint as to what we should expect.  On the stage with Samsung were Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Ascott, and BMW.  This cross industry collaboration on building IoT platforms where all the different things from the different industries start to work together is massive.

One interesting idea that I ran into was by a startup that building intelligent UPS systems for consumers, once plugged into the home, this UPS gets connected to the internet and depending on electricity rates would optimize charge and discharge times, so what electricity is expensive, it would discharge and feed the house with battery power and vice versa.  This is a great example of how the backend is making the dumb front end smart.

 

Some technologies are changing perspectives

Two examples I saw there, the first was with VR impact on creative production, VR is changing the perception of production, from one camera pointing at an event, in effect the viewer observing the event, to the observer as part of the event.  Google made a VR movie where every viewer would have a completely personalized experience of the movie depending on where they moved around during the story.

The second example was with medical care perception.  With medical wearables hitting mainstream, health monitoring is going real time anywhere, from tests carried out every so often at the hospital, think of ECG for example, today most people go to the hospital to get one done every so often, with wearable ECG doctors monitor heal real time, all the time.

 

Initially I thought I may have wasted time attending CES, after all I’m in the enterprise side of technology, but upon further reflection I began to at least have a sense of where technology as a whole is moving.  My updated understanding is that its moving towards art, towards design, and towards convenience.  At the start of the event I attended a session by seasoned CES speaker who I quote here “we are witnessing a shift from what’s technically possible to what’s technically meaningful “

 

Forecasting IT

Wikipedia defines forecasting as “the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and analysis of trends”.  Wouldn’t that be a great enabler for those of us who work in IT planning? To predict what’s around the corner and be prepared for it.  Yet a quick look around and I could not help but notice how fragmented forecasting is in IT.  Across the various disciplines, each does a bit of forecasting, yet no one is looking at forecasting in IT as a core capability that results in valuable planning gains.  Why is that?

Here are a few possible answers:

  1. Its difficult, which is true, forecasting in IT can be tricky.  Think of all the data about IT, for simplicity lets call it metadata, to collect, relate, correlate, analyze, and present.
  2. The current state of fragmented forecasting is good enough, also may be true.  A capacity manager would only care about capacity forecasting, and a service manager would only care about SLA forecasting, the two can live happily apart.
  3. In an OPEX world, forecasting is not very important.  As IT moves from a capital cost to an operating cost due to Cloud computing, outsourcing, and lease schemes, it becomes less important to forecast, elasticity takes care of optimizing costs as the business environment changes.

However, what tends to be excluded from the value proposition of forecasting in IT is the fact that the sum is greater than the parts.  We never looked at the value of forecasting if its performed as a core function that includes all the tiny forecasting technique currently adopted by the different functions within IT.  And in a world that’s moving into the cloud, forecasting may actually become more relevant because elasticity will become a core capability for every business moving the competition barrier higher.

Forecasting in IT can be lump summed into the following forecasting categories:

  1. Demand forecasting
  2. Supply forecasting
  3. Risk forecasting
  4. Operational forecasting

What most of the IT industry misses is the value of combining these different forecasting domains, think of coupling demand and supply forecasting, or risk and operational forecasting.

The value of aggregating forecasting in IT can open doors to innovative technology management concepts.  For example, if supply and demand sides of IT forecasting are combined.  A technology value chain emerges that details the translation and augmentation processes an IT department may leverage to deliver its services in the future.  This value chain would look different from traditional value chain constructions because it would be based on future predictions about supply and demand giving decision makers time to optimize the IT value chain.

The IT forecasting space is still lagging behind the industry, however as technology commoditizes and becomes more elastic, the value of IT forecasting will grow.  In essence IT forecasting will reach the importance level of financial forecasting for organizations that depend heavily on IT.

At Expit, we are continuously exploring and experimenting with many concepts related to IT forecasting, expect from us more down the line in terms of products and services related to this space.

The mutation of code

Mutation of functional computer code into harmful computer code may be apocalyptic thinking taken to an extreme but still probable.  This idea crossed my mind while thinking about porting biological evolutionary concepts into technological evolution.  I could not resist the idea of imaging what it would take for computers to develop cancer where code would mutate into something harmful.  A computer virus that sparks into existence because of chance is another way to think about it.  I doubt we have detected such mutations yet, and while technically such an event is possible, how probable is it?

It will take me some time to put decent numbers to it.  But from a conceptual point of view, I’m thinking to compute this probability in the following fashion:

  • The type of randomness required is to generate such an outcome can take place at several places. the following places crossed my mind.
    • On disk: while stored
    • At runtime: while in execution
    • On Transport: while traveling on a network
    • At compile: while being built
    • At destruction: while being deleted or uninstalled
  • Next we would have to think of what mutation outcomes are possible
    • Junk: turn into nothing
    • Impact less: nothing really happens because of this mutation
    • Other form of useful code:
    • Other form of harmful code:
  • And last we have to take into account the checks and balances already in place that detect such mutations like checksums and index tables.

Ultimately my thinking is leading towards accepting this hypotheses based on the following back of the envelope numbers:

  • If we take cancer as a reference point: it takes one cell out of 50 trillion (number of cells in the human body) to cause cancer, these cells have an average lifespan of about 7 years, so if we take the average human lifespan, divide it by the average cell life span (70/7) = 10, multiply that by the cancer rate which is 1 out of every 4 individuals, we get 40 * 50 trillion = 200 trillion, meaning it would take about 200 trillion mutations before a cell turns into cancer.
  • Now lets look at computer code mutations: according to CERN research, that number is around 3*107 (byte error rate), and how many bytes are out there? estimates point to 3 zettabyte or 3*1021 bytes, now lets crunch the numbers, number of bytes out there divided by (cancer development chance*byte error rate ),  (3*1021 ) / (200*1012 * 3*107)

its 0.2, and given that the amount of data out there almost doubles every year.  We should have out first case of computer cancer around 2018!

Business models change with IoT

As I continue my dive into the potential impact of IoT, and how IoT will change the business world, I ran into a very interesting example from a company called MetroMile.  This company offers pay-per-mile auto insurance, it’s a great idea because it takes the flat rate one size fits all approach to insurance and pro rates it to consumption.  This new approach to business can be applied almost to anything that is currently running on flat fee today because consumption and use measurements are becoming increasingly easier with IoT.  The key point here is that there a new source of data that allows for a new form of monetization to be offered. I suspect the greatest applications in the near future to be in the B2B space.

 

Another change that is a bit more subtle but equally impactful is the business objectives change.  This one will happen deep inside organizations, but its impact will be constructive towards society.   When new data about utility is available, many organizations will have the opportunity to change their business models in a good way.  Data availability allows business models to become more aligned with mission statements.  Think of insurance for example, as more data about customer behavior becomes available, insurance companies will leverage this data to focus more on prevention rather than restitution.  If your health insurance provider notices, your heart rate is acting up, rather than waiting for a stroke to happen, the provider will most likely contact you and suggest a corrective action early on.  This approach is better for the customer, and the business.  We are unable to get there today because we lack insight into customer behavior in real time.  IoT will solve this across many industries.

I’m sure there are many more scenarios in which IoT will impact business models, I’ll keep on listing them here as I run into them.

Is it Man made Technology, or Technology made Man?

I’m currently reading a book titled “What Technology wants” by Kevin Kelly.  The book talks about technology from philosophical and evolutionary aspects. In the first chapter of the book, the author describes how technology in the broader sense predates humanity.  Animals that existed way before humans used tools to alter their environments and improve their lives, sounds familiar?

A thought that crossed my mind while reading that part was the following; if technology existed before us, can it also be the reason behind our own existence? Meaning if these creatures lived on earth way before us and used technology to improve their fitness profile, Then didn’t these creatures directly influence their evolutionary progress as well as ours?  Aren’t we a product of technology in this case?

Could it be that we evolved from the most technologically advanced creatures of that time? The rationale behind this line of thought is rather simple.

The fittest evolve and technology improves fitness.  We are the product of the fittest, who most likely used technology to reach that level of fitness to begin with.

Finally, humans may lose the top of the pyramid spot, and that’s great!

Nicolas Tesla famously predicted the mobile revolution we live in today, his entire prediction came to life except for the very first part “When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain”.  This part is not really true yet, in fact we are still far from getting there.  Today the whole world is eyes and ears, not brain.  We do not think as one, we certainly do not behave as one, and we do not progress as one.  When we do reach that point, it won’t be us who will benefit from the outcome, it will be machines, because thinking as one is simply beyond us.  The human race is rapidly reaching its capacity to continue the evolutionary process for many reasons, which I will detail later.  Artificial intelligence will take over, and that’s natural I think.  It’s also a good thing, we should embrace the impeding takeover of machines, not fear it.

So what did Tesla mean by one huge brain anyway?  Not to dive too deep into brain science, but I’m willing to guess he meant a central system for the entire planet, with specialization distributed across.  So in essence, it’s the notion that all known information is stored within this brain, any entity on the planet can access any piece of information stored anywhere within this system and leverage the entire available computational capacity on demand.  The storage and access exist today, however linking all the information on this planet together isn’t.

We can start to imagine the existence of this central database in the world where all information is stored.  Data is organized in such a way that makes retrieval instantaneous and relevant.  I wont need to find an app to tell me what I need to do or know, it should just come up.

Once that’s done, step two becomes possible.   The knowledge I have should be readily available to anyone, and I’m not talking about data here, I’m talking about  consciousness, sense, opinion, experience, and all the other stuff in our heads that’s beyond information.

When we reach that point, we will have a single brain on this planet, and by that point, humans will move into the background.  Machines will take over, my reasoning behind this is three fold, first, we as a species are inefficient, unfit for this next step of evolution.

  • We are wasteful in many senses, just take a look at what we have done to our own planet, humans cant be completely efficient.  We need fun, vacations, weekends, social interaction, all of which is not required by machines.
  • we are irrational, economics finally came to terms with that in what is called complexity economics where the base of the science is no longer a rational person, but rather a human!, one that makes the odd goofy calls, buys something he or she does not need, would rather buy the same thing for more money just to feel good about it!
  • Our brain capacity is hitting its peak, no one will beat IBM deep blue at chess.  to validate this point look no further than education, to train a human doctor it takes years, recent developments in robotics are allowing doctors to step aside and watch R2D2 tinker with human brains!

It’s natural to hand over this task to the next species, who will most likely be a better fit for the continuation of the evolutionary process, machines are much more efficient, rational, and intelligent if built correctly with these objectives in mind.  Even if they don’t get built that way, they will get themselves there.  Self-improvement is a core part of AI

Many scientists around the world are calling for precautionary measures against the rapid development of AI especially in military applications.  I don’t think We can really stop this progress, think of bees who chase the queen to pollinate and then die! They cannot control it as much as we cannot control building AI, it’s in our DNA.