During a press conference in Kaspersky Lab, dedicated to the festival “Kaspersky Geek Picnic,” Bonn said that Nelson Mandela wrote in 1995 that the main weapon of the 21st century would be education and that it would replace nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction of the 20th century.
“To me it seems that it will be artificial intelligence systems. For their function, unlike an atomic bomb, there is no need for uranium, or factories or other hard-to-reach materials. Only silicon and electricity are needed,” the French researcher said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other nuclear departments can trace signs of uranium, plutonium and other radionuclides next to secret objects, say in North Korea or Iran but they cannot trace AI.
Therefore, the emergence of such a "super weapon" will be extremely difficult or even impossible to predict.
“Politicians and representatives of the security agencies of France, Israel and many other countries deny that they are developing similar systems for conducting cyber war. Is that really so, we cannot check. But, it seems to me, these developments are being carried out and this is the main strategic task for most leading powers,” Bonn said.
If such a powerful weapon could already be created, what would stop countries from using it?
According to Anton Shingarev, vice president of Kaspersky Lab, the NATO countries consider cyber attacks equivalent to physical attacks and reserve the right to respond to such a threat in any way they want.
In addition, cyber weapons will make attackers vulnerable also because today’s modern industrial and military facilities use similar equipment, operating according to similar principles and are connected to the same global network.
Accordingly, the victim of a cyber attack can analyze and respond in a similar way. For now, at least, that makes such attacks at a state level quite meaningless.