Almost every day there are new inventions. What was once cutting-edge technology, today is commonplace, and tomorrow is an outdated thing you want to get rid of. But not always progress is in the right direction and sometimes new technologies and even scare their prospects. Today we will talk about several technologies, which may even be very useful in our time, but in the long run, cause not quite pleasant emotions.
1 “Social Credit” System
If you watched “Black Mirror“, or rather a series about how people were judged on their reputation on social media, or the TV series “Orville”, where the first season revealed a similar theme, you might think how stupid it is and that it doesn’t really work. But China, as one of the most closed countries in the world, is implementing this system now. To the extent that an experiment. And if it succeeds, the Chinese government will launch a system of “social credit” throughout the country.
He uses the power of artificial intelligence in the bigdata areas and recognizes facial care. The bottom line is that people have a certain amount of credit that can be lost for many reasons (for example, criticizing the actions of the Chinese Communist Party or walking a dog without a leash). If the number of such loans is below a certain level, the person will be forbidden to work in public institutions, to run certain businesses, to refuse social security, to carry out a thorough inspection at customs, not to sell plane and train tickets, to refuse in luxury hotels and restaurants, and it will be forbidden to send children to study in private schools.
In fact, a human being becomes an exit from society. It would seem that the points are being removed for things that make perfect sense, such as throwing a piece of paper on the street or for insults, but as we mentioned above – you can’t criticize the government’s actions or do anything that China considers unacceptable. This can lead to total control and the creation of an “appropriate” society that fully meets the interests of the ruling class.
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2 smart speakers
Google, Amazon, and Yandex are actively promoting their intelligent, voice-based speakers. They are positioning these products as a universal smart home that can regulate lighting, manage the Internet of Things technology, and offers other features to enhance comfort. And it sounds like a useful thing that will make your home more comfortable, but not everything is so unambiguous. Large companies have repeatedly taken on the collection of sensitive data not only statistics on the use of certain applications but even on getting screenshots or photos from the webcam. And these are not some speculations of conspiracy theorists, but real facts. For example, one of the part-time manufacturers of “smart” speakers and search engines gave the task on its board of directors of freelance orders to rake the voice requests of people to determine among them the most appropriate ones for the given values. So everything you said in the voice search stays on the company’s servers.
Now, imagine that you voluntarily install a bug that will dump all the information about your conversations on the company’s servers or leak sensitive data to security services. This technology leaves a double feeling: on the one hand, the simplification of life, on the other hand – the possibilities inherent in total control, as in the novel “1984”.
A trend that is only getting stronger. Deepfakes is a technology that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to smoothly replace faces in the video. Yes, with this technology, you can have fun, for example, your friend’s face on a dog’s chest. To fulfill their sexual fantasies, replacing the face of an actress with the image of a classmate or a famous person. But there are also many more dangerous actions. The fact is that more and more often as a joke or for more serious reasons Deepfakes is used in the political sphere.
Discrediting a politician or, conversely, putting him in the right light, catching up with the crowd by showing Donald Trump saying he wants to destroy your country with nuclear strikes is just part of what can be done with Deepfakes.
And if the first fakes were visible to the naked eye, modern video editors, who can overpower almost anyone after a few minutes of study, show surprisingly high-quality results. The further development of Deepfakes, the non-negatives of some experts, can lead to a loss of people’s faith in the media and complete disorientation in the space of information when in one day can be published several statements and their refutations. The era of fake news has only just begun and is gaining momentum. Combine the ability to superimpose a face in Deepfakes with voice-change technology, and get the perfect cakes that can be used for everything from pranking friends to creating chaos around the world.
4 Self–Driving Cars
Tesla and other companies are actively developing the introduction of artificial intelligence in cars. The on-board computer can already control the machine without human involvement, based on radar data, telemetry, and other parameters. Several tests confirm the growth of the “intelligence” of these on-board systems, and in a few years of active testing, developers have taken a big step towards full automation. But what happens if the computer gets in a situation where their choice will depend on a person’s life? What decision will they make when the only available option is a dangerous exit to a cliff or a collision with a pedestrian? Who will give priority to the car – the driver or the pedestrian? Many people are concerned about these issues. And there may be times when to save the driver, the onboard computer will consider the safety of those in the car, rather than the lives of pedestrians outside, and block manual control.
5 Brain-computer interface
If the probability of hacking a “smart” column or a car doesn’t seem scary to you, what do you say about the fact that it is possible to hack a person? Yes, the expression “lifehack” will take on its real meaning. As implantable computer interfaces are introduced, they will be used more and more in surgery. These implants are already being used in experimental medicine to restore sensory and motor function in people with severe disorders caused by stroke or other neurological disorders.