I was recently reminded of the twin issues of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security when I re-watched the classic movie War Games. As many of you are aware, arguably the two hottest sectors in the VC world today are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security. We seem to have hit an inflection point where AI (also known as machine learning) seems to be making almost every business model more efficient. Further, anyone who spends time in front of a computer is well aware of the daily hacking and phishing threats. No wonder the quest for creating new machine learning applications and new cyber security risk management tools is happening at a torrid pace.
What was amazing about watching War Games is that a movie made in 1983 was so prescient about the benefits and pitfalls of AI and cyber security. For those who haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, you should), the movie follows a young Mathew Broderick as an earnest teenage computer hacker who finds a “back door” into the NORAD computer systems that provide war game scenarios and also control the launch and defense of America’s nuclear weapons. A hacking session by our hero and a security flaw almost turns into an Armageddon-like nightmare. But with human guile and wisdom, our hero is ultimately able to provide the guidance to the AI computer system to save the world from nuclear destruction (all while winning the girl’s affection and showing the so-called “grown-ups” how to act better). Pretty good stuff. But what we learn from this movie is that while machine learning will enable us to perform many tasks more efficiently, our computers still need human guidance and oversight. How we adapt to the use of these incredible tools we are creating will shape our lives in the future.
The current edition of MintzTech Connect includes an article relating to investing in hot secondary securities and an article on some of the pitfalls in our “gig economy” under New York law when hiring independent contractors. We also highlight a very cool young company called Kinnos, which is raising the standard of infectious disease decontamination to protect healthcare workers, patients, and the general public.
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Dan + Sam