SHCC WYSIWYG Article from November 2020

Previous Next

This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the November 2020 WYSIWYG newsletter.

In the Age of AI

by Don VanSyckel

As I've been discussing in several previous articles as a part of cutting the cord, I've been checking out DVDs from the library. I live in Sterling Heights and therefore use the Sterling Heights Public Library which is a member of the Suburban Library Cooperative. Most libraries in this area are a member; check if yours is. This group enables people to borrow materials from any of the member libraries in the coop.

When logged into the Sterling Heights Public Library web site you can search for any phrase which might be a title, author, or description. I don't recall what I searched on this one day but one on the search results was a DVD titled "In the Age of AI". This sounded interesting so I put a "hold" on it which is the way to request that item and after some time the DVD was available for me to pick up.

"In the Age of AI", copyright 2019
ISBN: 9781531711474
"Abstract: The promise and perils of AI; from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the US and China. A new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society." quoted from the library web site.

I have to admit that I hadn't considered some of the consequences of Facebook, Google, and other personnel information data collectors. When used benignly by these organization you might not care but the problem is this information can be turned against you or anyone.

A look at AI was presented and the first example was autonomous vehicles. What are the tens of thousands of truck drivers going to do if all the long haul rigs are automated? Sit at home and collect unemployment? That'll be good for their mental health, not. What happens to the rig during a system reboot at 70 miles an hour?

Consider in China's large cities today if you jay walk, cameras "see" you, facial recognition is done, and a ticket is issued. China has gone to the extreme of even installing cameras in remote rural villages. This surveillance can be extended to track your habits, comings and goings, people you contact, and all sorts of other personal information.

A while ago, Facebook was fined for manipulating their members. Facebook tested and used methods to give their users certain mind sets or opinions. When you add in Facebook's censoring, it makes them not trustworthy by me.

Do you know that information about you is even gleaned from how you say things to Alexa and other voice recognition systems. Your interaction with the system is analyzed for cadence, sentence structure, and other items to determine information about you. What's next?

So as it turns out, technology can be used for good or for evil, it just depends who's in control. Even things that at first glance appear to be good can have unanticipated dire consequence downstream. You know people, someone will make a bad decision (financially or in a relationship), get backed into a corner, and if they have access to information about others will use that information improperly to their advantage. Then there's government misuse of information. We all know how trustworthy politicians are; for instance mayors improperly telling police departments to not enforce laws.

This is an extremely interesting DVD and I highly recommend that you check it out and watch it.

End of Article

Previous Next

To discuss the article with the author, send an email.

Article Index Page

Club members should contact the webmaster with comments and suggestions about this web site.