Friday, January 28, 2011

Infecting an alien architecture, Part III

In my first two posts on infecting an alien architecture (part I and part II), I discussed how one might implement principle #7 of The Perfect Virus to facilitate Black Box Portability. This principle is the Holy Grail of viral infection as fictionalized by Piers Anthony's seminal novel Macroscope, and is the key to a real cyber defensive weapons arsenal. It's defensive in nature because the alien intelligence must "present itself" to the system before The Perfect Virus can respond and wreak havoc (or politely say "Hello E.T., what'chu want?"). In today's Kurzweil newsletter (my daily bible of innovation in technology), they report on a team of Spanish and Australian researchers who have "…taken a first step towards a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial." They calculate the "Kolmogorov complexity" using mathematic and computational concepts (the original article is posted on the Web site). The authors claim:
The most direct application of this study is in the field of artificial intelligence.
Au contraire, pussycats. The most direct application of these ideas is to quantify the computing power of an alien architecture presenting itself to known systems. How fast is it? Is it multi-threaded, massively parallel, or quantum architecture? Of course, it wasn't worth the $35.95 they want for the full paper, since I'm less interested in the concept of "intelligence" than I am in grokking the "cognitive architecture" of an alien system.

My from-a-distance "net net" of their using "…mathematical and computational concepts in order to encompass all these conditions…" is that they haven't yet stumbled onto a few more more obvious ways to evaluate an alien system. Then again, I'll limit my "Einstein thought experiments" to my next novel.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?