By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider
The number of ways to transport illegal drugs seems to be nearly endless. We all have heard about the use of airplanes to smuggle in illicit drugs. There are also tales aplenty about motorboats and sailboats loaded with banned narcotics that try to reach land.
Here’s a twist that you might not have considered. A recent news story described a narco mini-submarine that was scuttled in shallow waters after three men operating the vessel opted to evacuate and escape as authorities were closing in on them. Reportedly containing an estimated $100 million in cocaine, speculation is that the crew might not have known for sure that the gig was up, and chose to open the valves to sink the narco-sub as a precaution to try and hide the three metric tons of illegal drugs (figuring they could always come back to retrieve the loot, plus they might save their own lives by being able to show to the drug lord that the stuff was still intact and had not been siphoned off or pilfered).
I was asked by some readers whether we might ultimately have Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) that will be employed for criminal trafficking acts, doing so by removing the human element involved in driving or otherwise guiding a craft that contains an illicit drug shipment.
Sadly, yes, this can be expected and to some degree is already underway, including the nefarious use of autonomous submersibles, autonomous water surface craft such as sailboats and motorized ships, autonomous drones that fly in the air, and of course the use of ground-based autonomous transportation such as self-driving cars.
Not only will a particular mode of AV be used, such as in the air, in the water, or on the ground, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be devious efforts combining those avenues, a trifecta as it were.
Though we all prefer to think about technological innovations such as self-driving cars as being built and fielded for beneficial purposes and striving toward the good of humanity, there is no sense in hiding from the inevitable fact that these marvels will be stridently used for untoward aims too.
Bad people will do bad things, even with the greatest advances in AI.
Let’s consider why the use of self-driving cars would be alluring to drug trafficking and then ponder ways that this might be mitigated or defeated.
On a related note, some argue that no one should discuss these matters as it will merely give dreadful thieves some new ideas of what to do. This is a classic dilemma that confronts the computer field (and other realms) all the time. For example, in the cybersecurity realm, some try to suggest that research about cracking computer systems should not be published and nor discussed at conferences. Keep it all under tight wraps, they say.
But the pro
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