Parasitic computing is programming technique where a program in normal authorized interactions with another program manages to get the other program to perform computations of a complex nature. It is, in a sense, a security exploit in that the program implementing the parasitic computing has no authority to consume resources made available to the other program.
It was first proposed by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Vincent W. Freeh, Hawoong Jeong & Jay B. Brockman from University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, in 2001.
The example given by the original paper was two computers communicating over the Internet, under disguise of a standard communications session. The first computer is attempting to solve a large and extremely difficult 3-SAT problem; it has decomposed the original 3-SAT problem in a considerable number of smaller problems. Each of these smaller problems is then encoded as a relation between a checksum and a packet such that whether the checksum is accurate or not is also the answer to that smaller problem. The packet/checksum is then sent to another computer. This computer will, as part of receiving the packet and deciding whether it is valid and well-formed, create a checksum of the packet and see whether it is identical to the provided checksum. If the checksum is invalid, it will then request a new packet from the original computer. The original computer now knows the answer to that smaller problem based on the second computer’s response, and can transmit a fresh packet embodying a different sub-problem. Eventually, all the sub-problems will be answered and the final answer easily calculated.
This Diploma Thesis of the University of Applied Sciences in Bern (Switzerland) does extend that concept into a fully programmable virtual machine that is capable of solving any known problem in classic computer science.
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CEO, Founder, Keen Software House
CEO, Founder, GoodAI
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Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers
(2mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech
Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since
childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later
transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen
Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new
general AI research company building human-level artificial
intelligence, with $10mil.
GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown
to an international team of 20 researchers.