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Author Topic: Bitcoin the enabler - Truly Autonomous Software Agents roaming the net  (Read 20905 times)
julz
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December 06, 2011, 04:58:06 PM
 #1

I think this one may take a little while to materialize - but simple versions could appear once there are enough for-bitcoin hosting/cloud services.

For the first time, there exists the possibility for a software agent to roam the internet with it's own wallet.
Using Bitcoin - It could purchase the resources it needs to survive (hosting/cpu/memory) and sell services to other agents or to humans.

To be truly effective and survive 'out there on the net' long term, you'd probably need some basic AI and the ability to move itself between service providers occasionally - but even a relatively dumb agent might survive for a while.

What initial goals such agents might be given is anyone's guess. Funneling back to the programmer any profit  over and above what the agent needs to survive would be the obvious case, and of course many such agents might be considered 'nefarious' depending on how they're programmed to achieve that goal.  Other agents might be designed to provide free services or act in a way to support some piece of internet infrastructure.

A really interesting development would be if someone released a bunch of these things with a Genetic Algorithm component so that they 'bred' with each other in order to find the best balance between profit and durability.

Anyone know of examples of people discussing or working on this?  

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December 06, 2011, 05:19:30 PM
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Brace for epic, with some community support that can be something epic
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December 06, 2011, 05:21:13 PM
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Initial goal should be to make as much money (bitcoins) as possible.  Very interesting idea though.
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December 06, 2011, 05:31:10 PM
 #4

OMG! THIS IS AWESOME!

Here is a case (it's kind of bad will, but works as a proof of concept). Say that you build a captcha-cracker, that requiers CPU. People pay for the Captchas to be cracked and you provide some kind of API for people to offer their CPU and hosting of the software, if they do so, they get bitcoins. Putting this up online, with some marketing, the software should survive on it's own as long as there are captchas that needs to be cracked.

An additional step would be to through the API, making it possible to serve ads for the software, selling improved algorithms to it, etc. This could increase the softwares power.

Building upon this, eventually, the human race well be motivated to server machines as it will benefit us financially.
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December 06, 2011, 05:39:01 PM
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This autonomous bot could start day trading and make big bucks.
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December 06, 2011, 05:44:07 PM
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...and someone, posing himself as hosting provider, can collect them and scrape for their private keys :)
(or modify public keys)

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December 06, 2011, 05:53:28 PM
 #7

...and someone, posing himself as hosting provider, can collect them and scrape for their private keys Smiley
(or modify public keys)

...or a software agent could provide hosting services and scrape private keys from humans. Smiley
julz
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December 06, 2011, 05:57:26 PM
 #8

...and someone, posing himself as hosting provider, can collect them and scrape for their private keys Smiley
(or modify public keys)

You're right that there would ultimately be a strong incentive for memory/cpu service providers to reverse-engineer and monitor memory for keys, but I suspect there are ways around this.
It may be that trusting any one provider with too much is a serious hazard for agents.  
(actually no agent would ever want to be running entirely on one system anyway as a simple shutdown might kill it)
Some sort of split-key system might work there, or it might require some of the new bitcoin scripting features.

Agents might need to share information on 'cause of death' and investigate(well.. at least monitor/record) each other's 'murders' and any pillaging by hosts - thus forming a sort of reputation system for service providers.





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December 06, 2011, 06:02:42 PM
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i can see the skynet comming...

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markm
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December 06, 2011, 06:05:44 PM
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Social engineering seemed like a reasonable way to start propagating, I have some code started at my latest GitHub project.

-MarkM- (Oh the project? Galactic Milieu of course.)

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julz
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December 06, 2011, 06:09:05 PM
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i can see the skynet comming...

Yeah.. when autonomous software agents start ordering physical components to put in racks and then designing their own data centers it could start to freak people out!
(but, they'll probably have worked out by then how to buy fake human IDs  - so it mightn't be obvious it's happening for a while)




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December 06, 2011, 07:06:44 PM
 #12

This would make a cool sub-plot in a novel - the AI grows itself through ordering professional services to rack and stack more processing power paid for w/ BTC profits.  Cue computer morality issue plot point and let the dystopia flow as the AI takes over small financial sectors through whatever wealth building method and militarizes to protect its empire.  No idea how to make the protagonists' fight against it interesting, but that's what sci-fi/tech authors live for.

Kind of a Skynet bootstrap w/o recycling the plot of War Games / Terminator again.
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December 06, 2011, 07:21:19 PM
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Social engineering seemed like a reasonable way to start propagating, I have some code started at my latest GitHub project.

-MarkM- (Oh the project? Galactic Milieu of course.)

lol, so this is what all that mumbo jumbo was all about ?

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RaggedMonk
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December 06, 2011, 07:29:35 PM
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I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.
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December 06, 2011, 07:31:27 PM
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I would be interested to see if a software agent to destroy all bitcoins it did not need to survive or expand (at a predictable rate) would be created.

There's a word for this kind of behavior, but I forget what it's called.
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December 06, 2011, 07:37:42 PM
 #16


All along I was thinking about how possible computationally intelligent agents will use bitcoins as their currency as well. If bitcoins become accepted everywhere, the agent would be able to get all of its needs met (hardware, software, energy, security, hu-man-power) using bitcoins. It would not need an SS number to open a bank, it would not need an identity, it could work in a swarm collective, or as a replicating individual. It would not need an anthropomorphic body, as their will be plenty of willing ones available that can be hired without even knowing they are talking with a machine.

Basically a corporation without the investors or annoying bureaucracy, and without any legal obligations or morality. It won't be a scary walking robot with a gun. It will be a box sitting under a desk telling people to be scary and walk around with guns. That is of course only if that is what it takes to get its needs met.

Sounds like a good start for a scifi novel.

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damnek
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December 06, 2011, 07:41:05 PM
 #17

I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

A lot can be done by means of code obfuscation. For example, it has taken many manhours to analyze Stuxnet, and I believe they still do not completely understand Duqu.

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December 06, 2011, 07:46:48 PM
 #18

Governments will build millions of slightly-different evolving automated versions. This Gray Goo ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo ) will be dropped inside a hostile state. Currently probably Iran. Or China even?

The bots will try to profit off the economy of the hostile state. When successful profit-schemes have been found, other bots will be notified so they too can maximize profit. All profit will be turned in to Bitcoins. These Bitcoins will be "destoryed" (lost inside untracable wallet files). Thereby slowly grinding the economy to a halt as all money is drained away by these automatons. Descending the state into revolt and then anarchy.
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December 06, 2011, 07:49:05 PM
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All along I was thinking about how possible computationally intelligent agents will use bitcoins as their currency as well. If bitcoins become accepted everywhere, the agent would be able to get all of its needs met (hardware, software, energy, security, hu-man-power) using bitcoins. It would not need an SS number to open a bank, it would not need an identity, it could work in a swarm collective, or as a replicating individual. It would not need an anthropomorphic body, as their will be plenty of willing ones available that can be hired without even knowing they are talking with a machine.

Basically a corporation without the investors or annoying bureaucracy, and without any legal obligations or morality. It won't be a scary walking robot with a gun. It will be a box sitting under a desk telling people to be scary and walk around with guns. That is of course only if that is what it takes to get its needs met.

Sounds like a good start for a scifi novel.

Maybe we'll meet one day, inside one of these:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/
boonies4u
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December 06, 2011, 07:59:01 PM
 #20

Governments will build millions of slightly-different evolving automated versions. This Gray Goo ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo ) will be dropped inside a hostile state. Currently probably Iran. Or China even?

The bots will try to profit off the economy of the hostile state. When successful profit-schemes have been found, other bots will be notified so they too can maximize profit. All profit will be turned in to Bitcoins. These Bitcoins will be "destoryed" (lost inside untracable wallet files). Thereby slowly grinding the economy to a halt as all money is drained away by these automatons. Descending the state into revolt and then anarchy.

You're right, but the revolt and anarchy would only be local.  It would just maximize the value of the government(s) and our own bitcoins, assuming that we aren't in the hostile state.

Bitcoin needs to start deflating now! lol  Tongue
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