We worried about artificial intelligence taking over the world. What about it emptying your bank account?

Source: Criminal artificial intelligence may be coming for your money: Don Pittis | CBC News

Opinion: This piece talks about fooling people into believing they are being contacted by someone of authority, but the person on the other end of the phone is not who they are supposed to be. Actually, they are not a person at all. They are AI.

Many years ago I wrote a sci-fi novel or rather a draft for a novel that had to do with a kind of battle through time between two elements. The battle took place here but originated in the future. Two cybernetic entities each with a living, organic base (Trekkies, think The Gamesters of Triskelion) were sending messages back through time, trying to influence humanity. One of the entities was predominantly evil, the other good.

In traditional religious terms, we could say one was an agent of the devil, the other of God.

Star Trek TOS – The Gamesters of Triskelion – If I remember this episode right, the brains are advanced but not reasonable.

I never really finished off the novel to my satisfaction so it sits on a floppy disk somewhere. But I remember the idea, and I think in a funny way, we might actually be seeing some of it manifesting today.

Okay, time travel is still largely speculative. Certainly, we can’t walk into a time machine and come out somewhere else in history.

But how about thoughts and influences? Could they time travel?

Psychological instead of physical time travel seems far more probable to me.

I don’t talk it about this too much because the idea would probably alienate most folks in everyday life and on the web. (Earthpages won’t do any good if no one is visiting!)

Let’s face it, putting dinner on the table and keeping warm and dry is of primary importance to most of us. Speculative sci-fi usually comes after we have met those basic needs (unless we are street people, some of whom IMO are tripping out in ways we can barely understand).

But to return to my novel, whenever I see news stories like this I tend to think it could be a beginning of what my fictional story is talking about. Some evil force must grip the minds of the criminals who conceive of and actually carry out these heinous maneuvers. And where do those impulses come from?

When the illegal schemes involve advanced, cutting edge tech it is conceivable that some external influence acts on potential offenders—but not necessarily originating from the 21st-century. As the 70s electropop star Alan Parsons once sang:

Could it be that somebody else is looking into my mind… some other place, somewhere, some other time…

For me, my sci-fi story arose from an extremely bad experience I had with a professor who seemed to possess unusual, almost psychic abilities. There is nothing wrong with being a super-intuitive but this particular man’s behavior was unethical, to put it mildly. So, being largely powerless to do anything about this individual’s rampant misuse of power, I cast the whole thing into sci-fi.

Some might say I have a kind of ‘monomania’ about this man. Monomania is the idea that someone can be totally normal in all areas of life except one, where he or she loses a balanced perspective and says crazy things. Some conspiracy theorists seem to fit into this category. You talk with them and they seem quite unremarkable until they begin to drift into the topic of their obsession. Then the warning bells begin to ring.

Well, I suppose it is possible I have an unhealthy obsession with this man. But on the other hand, I keep getting these persistent intuitions that I am right about this guy, and my intuition is usually reliable when a given perception is clear, strong and frequently recurs over an extended time period, as has been the case here.

Some years ago my friends used to call me things like their “genius friend” or their “wise friend.”

I don’t say that to boast, but only to point out that other people have noticed I have an uncanny ability to scope people out accurately.

Was Winston Churchill exhibiting monomania when he distrusted Hitler well before anyone else realized what a monster the Nazi leader was?

Nope, he just had gifted insight and an important role to play in world history.

So… enough said for today.

In the meantime, let’s all keep an eye out for the evil one, wherever he or she may be in our lives.

The one thing most evil people have in common is that they are unscrupulous liars who will cheat, rip off and probably emotionally violate their hapless victims.

Just like the people behind today’s news story.