Ever wonder what will happen to the world by 2050, instead of humans evolving, the evolution is happening somewhere else. If you guessed it is some other animal species, you guessed it incorrectly. It is the computers that can think by themselves. We heard a lot about robots in the past, watched in sci-fi movies, and the comic books. Now they are almost real. The robots are not just the walking talking human like machines but also software programs which you may not be able to see but are working on doing some activity.
Now, for those not so familiar with what these bots are…. They are automated programs created to perform repetitive tasks. With the computing power available to programmers, bots are created to execute tasks at very high speeds, unthinkable for a real human to do the same task. Bots have been in use over the past 5 decades. Modern bots are programmed with good or malicious intent. In day to day life you are already using bots such as those that crawl your website for the purpose of SEO, aggregation, market intelligence/analytics and more. Selectively stopping one or all of these may be a decision from a business or industry perspective. However, inadvertently blocking these bots may reduce the visibility your website gets on search engines and other social platforms. The bots are also categorized based on their usage such as Copyright Bots, Data Bots, Spider Bots, Trader Bots, Monitoring Bots, Back-link checker bots, Social Network Bots, Partner bots, Aggregator/feed fetcher bots, Search engine crawler bots.
So, we looked at the usage of bots for a good purpose; now, let’s look at bots that are created with bad intentions. Some of those are that perform malicious acts, steal data, or damage sites or networks through such things as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which means simply flooding the site with far more data requests than it can handle. Bad bots are also often used to scan servers, computers or networks to find exploits, that can be used to compromise those. The list of bad bots include Scraper bots, Spambots, Scalper bots, Click bots, Spy bots, Impersonator bots, Download bots, Zombie Bot, Bandit Bot and more. With the amount of computing power available today, these bad bots are becoming sophisticated. They’re trying to emulate human-like behavior to remain undetected by conventional or in-house bot detection methodologies. What if they influenced political elections of the most powerful country in the world, who else is secure?
While technology helps us to do better and helps the world in certain way, the same technology can also destroy us. So, where do we go from here. I think as in every responsible act humans have to perform in life, there is a specific level of ethics education that need to be done before introducing learners to the bot’s technology. This will help to put the technology in safe hands to be used for a beneficial purpose of the humanity. But as it happens in civil societies, we can’t avoid all the evils of anything that could be beneficial to the society. So, there has to be some regulation and sound planning to avoid any problems in the future.
Author: Sridhar Nagulavancha, is a technology entrepreneur, Healthcare domain solution provider.