Google is one company, like Microsoft, that has been spearheading artificial intelligence (AI) development. The two tech giants believe AI will and indeed is revolutionizing our lives. However, there are plenty of bumps on the road. Chinese social and gaming company Tencent says it has found a “significant security loophole” in Google's machine-learning platform TensorFlow.
Tencent is a social gaming giant that is one of Android's leading developers. The company says (Chinese) there is a loophole in TensorFlow that means programmers are open to attack when editing code on the platform.
If programmers are using the vulnerable component during robot coding, malicious content could be added to allow and attacker control of the bot.
“Simply put, if the design professionals happen to be using the vulnerable component when coding a robot, it's likely that the hacker can control the robot through that loophole. This is very scary. So far we have only made a small step in security for AI. We look forward to making AI better and safer with the help of more technical talents,” says Yang Yong, head of Blade, a team under Tencent's security division.
With full control over the system, the hacker could get user details, steal ideas from the designer, or worse. The Blade team says the vulnerability was found when it was performing code reviews on Google's platform.
The company reported the problem to Google, but no official response has come from Mountain View. Interestingly, the disclosure from Tencent comes a week after Google opened an AI center in Beijing.
Microsoft Bot Killed
This is certainly not the first time Tencent has taken exception to an AI service. Back in August, the company pulled Microsoft's XioBing chatbot from its WeChat network for being too positive about the USA.
Microsoft's bot responded to an unknown questions with “My China dream is to go to America”. That didn't go down well in China. Technology is closely vetted to ensure nothing negative is said about the government.