( A twenty-minute read)
THIS IS A BIG SUBJECT AND IT IS NOW QUITE EVIDENT THAT IT IS ONE OF THE MOST URGENT SUBJECTS YET TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.
HOW DO WE BALANCE OR NEED FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO RUN THE WORLD WITH OUR FREEDOMS TO LIVE OUR LIVES.Blake saw the world in a grain of sand, and eternity in an hour.
More and more of us are seeing the world in a digital footprint, controlled by algorithms and the click of a mouse.
We need to rethink the objectives of Artificial Intelligence.
Today, algorithms know pretty well what we do, what we think and how we feel—possibly even better than our friends and family or even ourselves.
In fact, we are being remotely controlled ever more successfully.
The digital revolution is in full swing.
How will it change our world?
Every minute we produce hundreds of thousands of Google searches and Facebook posts.
The amount of data we produce doubles every year. In other words: in 2016 we produced as much data as in the entire history of humankind through 2015.
We are in the middle of a technological upheaval that will transform the way society is organized.
Data Mining. Heuristic Algorithms, Genetic Algorithms that promote “survival of the fittest” Police officers guided by algorithms, Filters that elect governments and Trumps, Drones that decide who, when, and where to kill.
It is estimated that in 10 years’ time there will be 150 billion networked measuring sensors, 20 times more than people on Earth. Then, the amount of data will double every 12 hours.
Many companies are already trying to turn this Big Data into Big Money.
Artificial intelligence is no longer programmed line by line, but is now capable of learning, thereby continuously developing itself.
Algorithms can now recognize handwritten language and patterns almost as well as humans and even complete some tasks better than them.
Today 70% of all financial transactions are performed by algorithms.
All of this has not just got radical economic consequences in the coming 10 to 20 years around half of today’s jobs will be threatened by algorithms.
40% of today’s top 500 companies will have vanished in a decade.
We need to know more about what technology is doing and how we are going to control its use before it is too late.
We need to harness algorithms that contribute nothing to the world except exploitation for profit.
People may interpret technology in our time to be primarily about smartphones, social media, GPS, and the plethora of electronic gadgets that have become popular in the last decade.
But technology is a bigger subject than that.
The most common definitions of technology typical of some modern dictionaries run along the lines of defining it as applying scientific knowledge for practical ends.
So a smartphone is a piece of technology because it is an application of electrical circuit theory, electromagnetic field theory, computer science and such for the practical purpose of communication.
Technology can also refer to a body of knowledge and techniques used to build things. Technology enables us to make the stuff of our imagination real—at least partially. Technology itself does not tell us what to do. We use technology to bring our imagination to life. Technology lets us do and achieve more than is otherwise possible.
As a whole, technology is subservient to our collective desires.
The above may be true in its original sense, but should we allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use. (Google’s search algorithm is now a more closely guarded commercial secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola)
If you ask me nobody has a perfect definition of technology. This is common to all definitions of technology.
The supreme value of all this technology is information resulting in increasing amounts of personal information being collected.
Where is all of this information being stored and by whom?‘
The unpalatable truth is the Cloud owned by monopolies, under term of agreement that “Nobody reads.
Amazon has 11 cloud regions across the world. Amazon.com’s cloud is so vast and complex that it basically operates the largest computer on the planet. Amazon Web Services has a 27 percent share of the global cloud infrastructure market, followed by Microsoft at around 10 percent, and then IBM and Google.
There are two types of data that are stored in the many clouds that presently exist. The first category is the data that is created by the user before uploading it in the cloud and the other category is data that is created on the cloud platform itself.
Data that is produced prior to any upload into a cloud platform may be governed by the appropriate copyright laws depending on the cloud server while the data that is generated after storage brings about a whole new dimension of ownership.
To date, there are no regulations set for cloud computing (which by the way is unstoppable) and all that has partial governance over the cloud providers are the local set rules.
Do you have a Yahoo e-mail account? Maybe a Gmail account? Do you put up pictures on Flickr? Perhaps you’ve started keeping your schedule online. If so, then you are using cloud computing — that’s what tech companies call it when people work and store information on the Internet.
Are you plagued by suggestions because you looked at something on E Bay or pressed the like button Flipboard, or opened a link on U Tube, or bought on Amazon, or posted on Facebook, or twitted. They are all governed by nudging Algorithms.
In the end it all boils down to whoever owns the capital will benefit as robots and artificial intelligence inevitably replace not just jobs, but the way we live our lives.
So the obvious question is whether all this rapid advances in automation and digital technology is provoking social upheaval by eliminating the livelihoods of many people, even as they produce great wealth for others?
The Answer is an undoubtedly (with us all losing visibility as to what can be done about it) < YES > Or Yes > it is, but in the future far more people need to “own the robots. Machines are tools, and if their ownership is more widely shared, the majority of people could use them to boost their productivity and increase both their earnings, their leisure and understanding of the world they live in.
If only a favored segment of the population gets a chance to enjoy the advantage of ‘intelligence amplification,’ the network may exaggerate the discontinuity in the spectrum of intellectual opportunity.
We at the beginning of an economic transformation that is unique in history, wonderful for what it could do in bringing us better medicine, services, and products, but devastating for those not in a position to reap the financial benefits, the medical benefits, educational benefits etc.
In other words, it would be smart to temper our expectations about the future possibilities of machine intelligence.
The reality is that governments worldwide are corralled by staggering debt, and with rapidly depleting income tax sources due to automation, the question becomes….Who will foot the bill!
When I say this I am saying that more and more computer-guided automation is creeping into everything from manufacturing to decision-making. We are at this moment, and for the past many years, having the wool pulled purposefully over our eyes by government itself regarding the disappearance of jobs and how we fund future public services.
If you believe that the rapid advance of technology could eliminate the need for most workers, government policies do little to directly address that scenario. While we are in the early stages of a transition from the failing old system to a new one, it’s impossible to accurately predict the effects of future advances.
It is particularly difficult to isolate the specific impact of technology from that of, say, globalization, economic growth, access to education, and tax policies.
The future of autonomous machines designed to feed humanity is real and technological disruption is beginning to quietly transform many aspects of the millenary agricultural industry.
But advances in technology offer one plausible, albeit partial, cost saving to governments unshackling nations from the staggering costs of civil servants.
Will robots and software replace most human workers?
It is obvious that they will.
Take Agriculture for instance. The Agri Tech revolution is already under way, data and analysis the market for robots and drones for agriculture runs 3,000 million dollars annually. Triple to 10,000 million in 2022 and double again in 2026.
How do you assess just how specific technologies like these will affect the total number of jobs in the economy?
No one knows the answer.
In a globalized, increasingly automated economy, what can we do about this?
Wholesale reform is needed—far beyond the usual prescriptions of raising the minimum wage and spending more on education.
If advances in technology are playing a role in increasing inequality, the effects are not inevitable, and they can be altered by government, business, and consumer decisions.
The reality however is that none of the above will make a difference.
All this Technology and yet we humans have not learned to treat each other decently.
With the aid of a smart phone and app, we now have greater opportunities to stop rising income inequality by providing fairer access to quality education and training programs for people throughout their careers and lives in order to relate to the real world around us. Otherwise the world will face a new social eruption.
One thing is clear:
The solution is not to hold back on innovation, but we have a new problem to innovate around: The way in which we organize the economy and society will have to change fundamentally.
Today, Singapore is seen as a perfect example of a data-controlled society. What started as a program to protect its citizens from terrorism has ended up influencing economic and immigration policy, the property market and school curricula. China is taking a similar route.
Every Chinese citizen will receive a so-called ”Citizen Score”, which will determine under what conditions they may get loans, jobs, or travel visa to other countries. This kind of individual monitoring would include people’s Internet surfing and the behavior of their social contacts.
It is also increasingly clear that we are all in the focus of institutional surveillance.
The more is known about us, the less likely our choices are to be free and not predetermined by others.
But it won’t stop there.
Some software platforms are moving towards “persuasive computing.” In the future, using sophisticated manipulation technologies, these platforms will be able to steer us through entire courses of action, be it for the execution of complex work processes or to generate free content for Internet platforms, from which corporations earn billions.
The trend goes from programming computers to programming people.
Regardless of this, criminals, terrorists and extremists will try to manage to take control of the digital magic wand sooner or later—perhaps even without us noticing. Almost all companies and institutions have already been hacked.
A further problem arises when adequate transparency and democratic control are lacking: Search algorithms and recommendation systems will be more than influential:
Companies can bid on certain combinations of words to gain more favourable results. Governments are probably able to influence the outcomes too. During elections, they might nudge undecided voters towards supporting them—a manipulation that would be hard to detect. Therefore, whoever controls this technology can win elections—by nudging themselves to power. This causes social polarization, resulting in the formation of separate groups that no longer understand each other and find themselves increasingly at conflict with one another.
Personalized information can unintentionally destroy social cohesion, so that political compromises become almost impossible. The fact that manipulative methods change the way we make our decisions. They override the otherwise relevant cultural and social cues.
At least temporarily.
The result is a fragmentation, possibly even a disintegration, of society.
In summary, the large-scale use of manipulative methods could cause serious social damage, including the brutalization of behavior in the digital world.
Who should be held responsible for this?
But which laws, if any, might be violated?
First of all, it is clear that manipulative technologies restrict the freedom of choice. If the remote control of our behaviour worked perfectly, we would essentially be digital slaves, because we would only execute decisions that were actually made by others before.
The right of individual self-development can only be exercised by those who have control over their lives, which presupposes informational self-determination. This is about nothing less than our most important constitutional rights. A democracy cannot work well unless those rights are respected. If they are constrained, this undermines our society and the state.
Last but not least there is the question of the legality of personalized pricing. It is questionable, because it could be a misuse of insider information.
We urgently need to impose high standards, especially scientific quality criteria and a code of conduct similar to the Hippocratic Oath to all Technology in particular to Algorithms. If not our thinking, our freedom, our democracy is being hacked for the sake of profit.
It is already clear that the problems of the world have not decreased despite the recent flood of data and the use of personalized information—on the contrary! World peace with the rise in inequality is fragile. States and terrorists are preparing for cyber warfare.
Furthermore, there is a danger that the manipulation of decisions by powerful algorithms undermines the basis of “collective intelligence,” which can flexibly adapt to the challenges of our complex world.
For collective intelligence to work, information searches and decision-making by individuals must occur independently.
If our judgments and decisions are predetermined by algorithms, however, this truly leads to a brainwashing of the people. Intelligent beings are downgraded to mere receivers of commands, who automatically respond to stimuli.
It’s the next step that we need to keep an eye on.
Advances in quantum computing and the rapid evolution of AI and AI agents embedded in systems and devices in the Internet of Things will lead to hyper-stalking, influencing and shaping of voters, and hyper-personalized ads, all creating new ways to misrepresent reality and perpetuate falsehoods.
The long-term change in the climate will lead to the greatest loss of species since the extinction of dinosaurs the long-term changes to human thought will achieve the same result. Cyber-crime is estimated to cause an annual loss of 3 trillion dollars.
This the Age of Algorithms and predicting that the future of algorithms is tied to machine learning and deep learning that will get better and better at an ever-faster pace. The greedy algorithms are well on the way to advancing Post-truth politics in many parts of the world.
They put too much control in the hands of corporations and governments, perpetuate bias, create filter bubbles, cut choices, creativity and serendipity, and will result in greater unemployment As society becomes more wedded to technology.
It’s important to consider the formulas that govern our data.
“It is not too soon for social debate on how the fruits of an AI-
dominated economy should be shared.”