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- Mar 31, 2010
There is no more privacy. Everything about you is stored somewhere in data files with string tied around the folders to protect them. Data breaches at major companies are becoming commonplace with news that virtually everyone’s personal data has ended up on the ‘dark web’ where it is for sale at a reasonable price.
Putin says that whoever reaches a breakthrough in developing artificial intelligence will come to dominate the world. Development of killer robots may be just over the horizon. Computer scientists are working overtime pushing the development of AI to the point of getting computers to think for themselves. Somehow those two statements, when taken together, definitely do not give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Everywhere you go you see people staring at their digital device, often to their detriment as they walk in front of buses or fall into open holes. In restaurants people persistently consult their I-Phone as they eat, ignoring their surroundings and dinner partner. Driving while texting can be a very life changing experience.
Our children play video games for hours at a time, refusing to engage in outdoor physical activity and explore the real world, but instead engage in fantasy and make believe in a virtual world where when you get killed you can start over again.
Siren songs of FaceBook and Twitter keep people engaged in frivolous discussions, delving into deep subjects such as what they are cooking for dinner and what they watched on TV the previous evening. How many pictures of little Johnny growing up can you fit in the family album and how much private information posted to your page will be enough? Real life; family reunions, club memberships, face to face visits with friends all take a back burner to the call of the tweety birds and the book of faces.
Fake news has overwhelmed the open nature of the internet. Major news organizations concoct news stories that advance their agenda cut from the variegated cloth of the internet. Investigation of the veracity of the news takes a distant second place to the importance of breaking the news first. You can now search the internet and discover supporting information to practically any viewpoint you decide to take.
Computers bring access to a world of information and we use it to view pornography. Computers make us more efficient workers and companies take the increased profits to enrich themselves instead of sharing it with the people. Computers allow mathematical calculations, previously impossible to calculate, to model huge datasets and we start another scam tax based on weather modeling. We use their vast power to model larger, more efficient, nuclear weapons.
So what’s to do? We cannot put the genie back in the bottle, our civilization requires computers to survive. If we legislate research into artificial intelligence our adversaries will overwhelm us. Pass laws? Make rules? We’ve been there and done that. It will come to no good, I tell ya, we’re DOOMED. I’m glad I’m gonna be around to see how this all turns out.