Introducing Future Crimes
Marc Goodman tells Big Think that in the future "the virtual agents of good and evil will do battle in cyberspace--making this a very interesting field to be in!"
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
concerns you the most?
MG: Biological threats. Biohacking or DIY (Do It Yourself Biology) are about to explode. For the first time in human history, we are beginning to understand how biology works. Decoding the human genome was just the first step, neurology will be next. There are significant groups of hackers out there "hacking" biology every day. While much of this work is going on for good and the betterment of humanity, that is not universally true. Bill Gates himself said if he were a kid again today, he would be hacking bio technology instead of information technology. The burgeoning fields of synthetic biology, genomics and nano tech may provide significant opportunities for criminals and terrorists to pursue a whole new bag of weaponry previously unavailable to them.
BT: Is there a basic rule of thumb that private citizens can follow to
protect their privacy today? (Or, to put it another way, do you think
the public at large is aware of the full extent of the threats to
their privacy that exist today?)
BT: In your view, who are the most technologically-advanced criminals out there?
MG: There is a significant amount of criminal "talent" out there. There are highly technologically-advanced criminals in many countries around the world. Though people might want to focus on one region over another, the fact of the matter is that organized crime is just that: organized. That means it functions just like a business and profits in the digital underground are at an all-time high. There is significant cooperation among criminal gangs online, regardless of their location. Thus an Asian crime group would readily collaborate with one from Eastern Europe or North America if there is a profit to be made for all parties.
BT: With technology increasing exponentially, and humans unable to
keep up, to what extent will we have to rely on A.I. to protect and
MG: I think increasingly Artificial Intelligence will play a very large role in crime, policing and security. Artificial agents will scour the net looking for criminal activity. Though it sounds very "Minority Report," the fact of the matter is there is an emerging field of law enforcement known as "Predictive Policing." Using a variety of AI techniques, machine learning and vast mounds of data, it is actually becoming possible to determine which criminals are most likely to offend and even those that are most likely to become victims of crime, such as homicide, themselves. Of course, AI is not only for the good guys. We have already seen attempts by criminal elements to script and automate criminality. Botnets and FastFlux technologies are perfect early examples of where we are heading. In the future, the virtual agents of good and evil will do battle in cyberspace--making this a very interesting field to be in!
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
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