OK, some of this material isn’t new but I’ve been asked to edit a special (Information) journal edition on (something like) ‘Will AI, Big Data and the IoT Mean the End of Privacy?’ The plan is to circulate a ‘discussion paper’ to encourage submissions. What follows is an early draft of that (extended from The Prof on a Train Game) so it won’t hurt to get it ‘out there’ as soon as possible. Comments welcome below, by email, message, whatever …
The embodiment of the potential loss of privacy through a combination of AI, big data and IoT technology might be something like an integrated app capable of recognising anyone, anytime, anywhere: a sort of ‘Shazam for People‘, but one capable of returning seriously personal material about the individual. How credible is such a system? And what might stop it?
Introduction: A Future Scenario?
It’s 2025 or thereabouts. You meet someone at an international conference. Even before they’ve started to introduce themselves, your IoT augmented reality glasses have told you everything you needed to know … and a lot more you didn’t.
Jerry Gonzales. Born (02/11/1970): Glasgow, UK, dual (plus USA) citizenship; 49 years old. Married 12/12/1994 (Ellen Gonzales, nee Schwartz), divorced 08/06/2003; two daughters (Kate: 23, Sarah: 17); one son (David: 20). Previous employment: Microsoft, IBM, University of Pwllheli; current: unemployed. Health: smoker, heavy drinker, recurrent lung problems, diabetic, depression. Homeowner (previous); now public housing. Credit rating: poor (bankruptcy 10/10/2007); Insurance risk: high. Politics: Republican. etc., …, Sport: supports Boston Red Sox and Manchester United FC. …, Pornography: prefers straight but with mild abuse …, etc., etc.
1 Comment | tags: Big Data, Data algorithms, Data apps, Identification Vector, IoT, IV, Personal data, Personal Identification Mark, PIM, Privacy, RIoT, SfP, Shazam | posted in Algorithms, Computer Science, Computing, Hardware, Industry, Politics, Programming, Software
If our privacy is going out of the window anyway, let’s go the whole hog! Why let the Big Data/Internet of Things future be a plethora of individual apps/processes when it could be just a simple ‘global identity’ for each of us? [‘tongue-in-cheek mode’ enabled]
Let’s concoct a future scenario (extended from a passage in the book) to work with … You’re out for an urban stroll. You buy a bottle of orange juice along your way, and drink it as you’re walking. Half a mile down the road, you throw the empty bottle in a bin. Not that inspiring? OK, let’s IoT/big data it up a bit …
Your exercise is being monitored as you walk. When you buy the bottle, the cost is automatically debited from your bank account. Also the juice’s nutritional information is fed into your fitness tracker along with your steps. At the same time, the juice/bottle’s carbon penalty is added to your personal carbon footprint. If you dispose of the empty bottle in an approved recycling bin, some of that carbon penalty is credited back to you. The balance is your carbon tax to pay, although this is mitigated by an adjustment against your health tax: calculated from your fitness tracker’s juice and steps data. The net cost is also taken directly from your bank.
So, how might that all work?
1 Comment | tags: Big Connectivity, Big Data, Integration, Internet of Everything, Internet of Things, Personal data, Privacy, Real Internet of Things | posted in Hardware, Philosophy, Politics, Software
The arguments about ‘abstract art’ (compared with ‘real’ art) rage on. But could we soon be having similar debates about data? Or has it already happened?
(The first part of this post is deliberately written from the point of view of an analytic treatment of art. If you’re going to scream, ‘No, you can’t reduce it to that!’, then it’s not aimed at you – but ‘sorry’, anyway.)
‘Abstract art’, sometimes ‘modern art’, divides people. To some, it’s the pinnacle of human achievement, the height of our civilisation; setting us spiritually apart from the functional necessity of other species. To others, it’s a pointless diversion; an excuse for people who can’t read, write or add up to feel worthwhile about themselves and give each other awards and qualifications.
Leave a comment | tags: Automation and unemployment, Big Data, Data algorithms, Data apps, Social media apps, Technocapitalism | posted in Algorithms, Computer Science, Computing, Philosophy, Politics, Software
Now available as eBook and paperback
What makes something sentient? What does it take for an entity to be aware of its own existence and to want to interact with the world of its own accord? Is it a gift from God or hard science? Is it something fundamentally human or animal in nature or is it a simple technological principle based on brain size? There are many models, of course. But, if consciousness is simply a natural product of neural complexity then eventually, in theory, we might build something – a computer or a machine – that was actually big enough to wake up!
Oh, wait …!
The widespread ramblings, which have appeared on this blog over the years, now make a partial contribution to a novel. (See http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/vicgrout)
Vic Grout’s Conscious is set a year or three into the future. The ‘Internet of Everything’ is making the world a more connected place than ever before. People’s lives are becoming increasingly automated. But something odd is happening … ‘Things’ are beginning to misbehave and no-one can work out why. What starts as an amusing inconvenience quickly becomes very serious indeed!
A ragged bunch of academics, scientists and philosophers are on the case – and may know the answer. But now they have to convince people that their crazy explanation is true. And that’s only the start. Against a backdrop of a world suddenly beginning to fall apart, they’re in a race against time to get someone to do anything about it. And not everyone is on their side!
Leave a comment | tags: Artificial intelligence, Big Connectivity, Big Data, Brain, Formal proof, Futurology, Internet of Everything, Internet of Things, IoT, Machine intelligence, Real Internet of Things, Science fiction, Singularity, Technological singularity | posted in Academia, Algorithms, Computer Science, Computing, Education, Engineering, General, Hardware, Industry, Mathematics, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Science, Software