Ray Kurzweil and Google are Creating the First Truly "Personal" Computer
Not "personal" as in "your own", but personal as in it knows you, understands you, and can help you before you even know you need help. It will read everything you write, look at every picture you take… and it will go out and do the same with what your friends and foes post as well. To better serve you, your "cybernetic friend" will be tasked with surveilling you to an extent that no totalitarian regime in history could ever dream.
It will communicate with every other iteration of this software on the planet and collate trillions of bits of data to figure out everything it can about you… it will know you better than anyone else… eventually better than you know yourself.
Give it time and this software will know that you would have a rather boring time in Cancun for a week if you go in August like you planned… but there is a cruise that stops there for a day that would let you see everything that you would be interested in. The cruise is also going to be hosting a convention on romance writing- a subject that you have never been interested in. This software would understand that there is a 98% chance that you will have the time of your life on that cruise and that it will spark an interest in writing romance that will engage you for years. It also knows you'll write dreck nobody will buy but that you won't mind because you are writing for yourself.
It will know that you would hate Ethiopian cuisine before you try it but that there is a Kenyan restaurant in Los Angeles that would become your favorite if you ever tried it.
It will know that you would not actually like living in the city you always wanted to move to and that you would be bored stiff after 8 months in what you consider to be your dream job.
You will ignore it but it will know that person you just met will make you miserable… you know, that "love at first sight" person?
You think you want more spontaneity in your life than this will give you? This software will learn that as well and also know just how much you really want as compared to how much you think you want.
It will creepify plenty of people but it will happen anyway because it will make life vastly better for those who embrace it.
Where it gets complicated is in the fringes of society. What happens when the software discovers a sociopathic killer in the making? Notice I said "when" not "if".
Even without being used by that broken person, with people all around them using this software, sooner or later it will find someone who is planning to carry a gun into a place where guns are not allowed, and start shooting people.
How will privacy laws cover this? What do you do with someone who has never committed a crime but who this software insists is going to? Does the software have a legal obligation to report anyone who has a greater than X% chance of committing any crime? Does that requirement to report work on a sliding scale where it can only report a minor crime once it has been committed but is triggered as soon as a pedophile crosses the 50% likely to offend line? What happens when they hurt a child when the system only predicts a 49% probability?
The surveillance in George Orwell's 1984 was put in place to service the needs of an oppressive and totalitarian regime… what do you do when the same means are put in place with the end justification of saving lives and making the world a safer place?
Not only will we accept this surveillance, we will actively participate in it and our lives really will be made safer, more enjoyable and richer for it… but it will not come without a cost.
Interesting times indeed.
Google’s New Director Of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, Is Building Your ‘Cybernetic Friend’ | TechCrunch
World-renowned artificial intelligence expert and Google’s new Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, wants to build a search engine so sophisticated that it could act like a ‘cybernetic friend,’ who …
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