Friday, November 16, 2018

future thinking

I bet the original blacksmiths of the double edged sword had no idea of how that term would be used centuries later as an imperfect metaphor.

Hopefully you will agree that steel swords can be considered technology for that time. Of course they were designed for war purposes. Eventually, they became a symbolic part of some ceremonies.

do they practice sword fighting?

Many of today's technologies probably have unknown future consequences. Maybe good consequences but since they are unknown how do we make a the right guess? I'm not opposed to exploring new technologies (but I don't want a new mouse trap when they are no mice bothering me). I believe we should be careful and debate potential consequences of technology changes.

a futuristic day

Did you happen to watch the two-part Frontline documentary, "The Facebook Dilemma"? Facebook created a powerful tool that has been misused by groups that want to disrupt societies. In the case of Myanmar, social media Facebook in particular, was a significant factor inciting violence. The platform allowed hate speech and calls for violence against the Rohingya to spread across Myanmar. Facebook had admitted it had been slow to respond to concerns.

I'm an active FB user. I'm not suggesting shutting FB down. In fact other less moderated social sites have been started. One was linked to the recent shooting in Pittsburgh.

Extreme groups can go to the "dark web" and still organize. I don't think they can grow as quickly as they can on popular social sites. Are you old enough to remember when Congress banned cigarette ads on TV and radio? Banning hate/violence type of content would not as simple as ads but an attempt should be tried.

how would Alexa respond?

Do we possess the intelligence to develop and control artificial intelligence, AI?

AI is the basis for voice and face recognition. Automated driving will use it. AI is both useful and dangerous. Some companies are more responsible than others. The pressure to beat the competition to the market is strong. Thinking about unwanted consequences takes time and the will to stop a product release.

I have learned AI grows on data. Google, FB, Twitter and others are huge collectors of data. It's time to start exploring consequences of this data collection and use.

(an older post about a "new mouse trap" that users didn't need or want)

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