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Archive for December 22nd, 2016

You might think I’m writing about some evil monster within us but this has to do with technology. There is so much pushback from those who believe someone is coming for our guns that we don’t have a database that keep track of gun purchases/registrations. No computers can be used. GQ magazine did a story this year about it (here). It’s not like TV where you run a serial number and instantly come up with a person who it is registered to. It can take days to find out who a gun is registered to using microfilm. This is not something where many employees are on the job either. There are databases to check to see if the gun has been used in crime but according to the article, since 1986 computers or networks cannot be used to catalog gun registrations. This was supposed to protect us (eye roll).

 

We use this type of mentality – thinking the government isn’t going to search us out for our weapons as long as we have these preventions in place. Ok. I get it but come on. Do you know what is being done now—what I see that far outweighs this? AI – artificial intelligence is being used and unsuspectingly. No one thinks twice about programs used to read your text so as to find a target audience for certain advertisements. Didn’t know this is happening? Have you ever noticed typing something in a chat/message box and all of a sudden you see an ad having to do with what you just wrote? This type of targeting is used for nothing nefarious so why be concerned, right? Hmmmm…

 

For most, AI technology isn’t what you think it is. You expect AIs to be robots or some personification you can see and fight against but AI technology is already amongst us. In efforts to create faster response times, we have predictive texts, predictive ads, predictive whatever just because software “observes” your patterns and makes predictions. No, this isn’t technically called AI but it is the precursor to it.

 

Say you want a security system that will arm your house when you are away and keep tabs on what is going on at home. As we strive to want better and faster, we are buying into networks that will keep track of habits in order to better serve our purposes. Next will be “automated” security preferences and responses according to the needs. Communities will be networked together. Think security, phone, internet, emergency services, etc all tied together for the good of the people and community. Sounds great, right? It’s already happening. Every time we add something to make things easier for us, we compromise our freedoms. We buy into this every single day.

 

We can purchase watches and other technology to keep up with our heart rate, blood pressure, location, etc. Our smart phones have been locating us for years even when you ask it not to track you. Have you ever passed by a store and all of a sudden get an ad sent to your email or text? All of this information is fed back to a central system (so to say). I know, it sounds far out scifi but it’s with us today—not ten years from now. Look at the amazon brick and mortar stores where there is no checkout line. You walk in-your card is read-you pick up items off the shelf and walk out. Sounds fun, right? This is part of the AI technology that will evolve to make our lives so much easier that we will never question how this can be used against us. It’s like addiction. It’s all about getting us hooked and then we question later why we so easily bought into this type of model.

 

Let me go back to the reading of text. What will eventually happen is that everything we type on a network will be “read” in order to detect certain problems like crimes—–or potential crimes. In fact, this is already being done in some places. There won’t be a need for someone to contact authorities about hate speech or whatever because the authorities will already know. Still, this isn’t completely AI technology. This is very simple text recognition but again, it is the basis of what will lead to problems and losses of freedom. We will push to have more detections in order to “preserve” our freedoms but we won’t recognize that we are actually doing this to ourselves until it is too late.

 

Look at Edward Snowden. He let the world know how much the US was spying on its citizens and others and what did people say? “Oh, it’s fine so long as it keeps us safe.” It is this myth that helps us sleep easier at night. We never see the problems before they happen. We even repeat history. We are not a smart bunch when it comes to the masses. There is no escaping this if we keep on the same path. The more I write about this and the warning signs of where we are today, the more I hear people say, “So what?” “There is nothing we can do.” “You are just paranoid.”

 

Smart phones began as “needed” technology for an advancing world. Now we have smart cars. These things begin with a network feeding and receiving information constantly but as advances are made, the less need for this back and forth communication thus the development of AI technology. Again, this begins simple—benign—not suspecting of anything. It develops into something that is more in control of our lives with us having fewer freedoms. I know I sound delusional or paranoid or conspiracy theorist like but these are things happening today and they will evolve into something that controls our everyday life 24/7. Are you ready for this type of takeover? Remember, we can’t even allow a gun registration database but we can allow computers/machines to take over the rest of our freedoms. Think about that. Don’t keep focusing on the one tree when you are overlooking the forest. It’s what you don’t see or don’t realize that can hurt us.

 

Happy Gardening 🙂

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