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After DigitalComputation as Done by Brains and Machines$
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James A. Anderson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357789.001.0001

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The Near Future

The Near Future

(p.313) Chapter 18 The Near Future
After Digital

James A. Anderson

Oxford University Press

Digital computing has transformed our civilization. Eventually, both computer professionals and regular users will interact with a computer as they would with another human of equivalent or greater intelligence but with a better grasp of fine detail. However, computer pathologies will increase with increasing power and ubiquity. Unintended consequences will occur from the intrinsic unreliability of hugely complex systems. The most sinister danger in the near future of computing is from humans: malware, hacking, theft, attacks. Modern lessons can be learned from the past history of computer attacks, such as the decoding of the Enigma codes during World War II. Individual greed leads to crime, but much worse results follow when major states become involved in computer-based crimes, as they are now starting to do. Optimistic futures of computing assume benign co-operators doing good works, but the power to do evil may win in the long run.

Keywords:   hacking, malware, evil, security, Enigma, Ultra, Bletchley Park, code-breaking

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