Artificial intelligence and our boring data

While we browse our search engines and add new apps to our phones, somewhere all the data is stored. It has never been a secret but it seems like we have been caught off guard with the first news worthy data usage articles. Facebook, Google and other companies that we so often rely on for the information search, connections and pure entertainment, have the ability and means to use this data secretly or out in public – but does it really matter? 

  • My life is not that interesting, have fun being bored. 
  • I’m not that important, I’m sure they have more interesting people to spy on.
  • Why should I care? I can’t change the system alone, so screw it.

These are just some of the conversation lines from “why are you making a big fuss about it?” camp. I kind of feel the same vibe whenever people say it’s no point to go and vote, because their vote won’t make a difference, they don’t know what to vote for and politics are money games. 

Well, what if we would look further than our ego or ignorance? We might actually address this situation with the real question – if this “boring life” data is no good use, why companies are willing to pay for it? Why Ai robots are thought to read huge amount of data, scan through our newsfeeds and analyse texts, digital patterns and what the heck you look up Amazon every time you browse it?

What if the real question is not how we stop it, because I’m quite sure we past that point, but what if we asked ourselves “Where do we go from here? How can we manage the situation? How can we ensure not to be blindsided in the future? Where is it going? And most of all – who’s going to look after this process and make sure it stays decent with the goal of helping humans, not just show off and make new problems?”

I’m not an expert nor do I assume that everything I think at the moment will necessary be what I will think in a few years, months or even weeks, since I’m constantly trying to dig in the information about Ai, technology advancement and it’s impact on our lives. But what I am quite sure of is that if we keep on ignoring or even denying that we are at the doorstep of the biggest change of our civilisation, basic existence, interactions and environment around us, then we for sure will be facing much bigger problems in the future. 

The main skillset that has helped humans to survive and actually reach this advancement is the ability to adapt, be curios and try to reach higher level of power of their own lives. It’s the ignorance and lack of will to learn that get’s us in trouble over and over again. 

It’s the power of bonds, inspiration and belief in humanity that keeps us more sane than ever before, and yet with the advancement of Ai we start to tap out of the hard work of learning and just Google everything. We use messaging instead of an actual conversations, because we don’t have to stress about actually going into deep discussions, interacting with all of our senses, observing the other persons body language and facial expressions not just the emojis in chat. We rely on our phones to find the best restaurants, promotions, reservations and all kind of stored information. We monitor our heart rate, sleep cycles, activity levels on our wrists and consult with an Ai online about our current health problems, because it is easier than to actually visit a doctor. We spend hours on our phones, computers, smart systems and assistants without really trying to understand how these systems work, because the whole reason to have more technologies is to make it easier. And while these settings make us feel like some kind of super humans, who have advanced beyond our greatest dreams, we feel almost entitled to live like this, to be the master of technologies, but are we really? It seems to me that while we’ve been eating appetizers, the main meal is still on it’s way, but by the time it comes we might not be able to actually consume it.. 

We work for upgrades, we look for new exciting things to buy and we believe that we have gained control and enormous resources. We have been so taken by getting more technological, more dependent on the perks of digitally controlling everything with our fingertips, that we forgot to actually think about what it means in the bigger picture. 

While scientists and engineers are working on making machines smarter, we look for more stimulus to be amazed, to rest our brains from our 9 to 5 jobs and social media production. We often say we do it for a better future. But what is really fascinating is that we have no idea how the world will look like in ten or twenty years. I might even go further and ask if we even understand how the world works now? 

I’m not ashamed to say – I don’t know, because every day I try to actually address this problem by learning about the universe we live in. Not knowing the answers is uncomfortable, but to stay ignorant is even worse. And I would like to hope that people will start to pay attention, look around, evaluate how dependent on technologies their life is. How critically we look at the information online? When was the last time we checked for facts before making our opinion about something? How big is the difference between time spent on online and offline communication? Why does a two year old takes selfies or spends the whole day watching cartoons on tv? When was the last time we actually enjoyed a day without technologies and did not even share it afterwards with followers? Will you trust the self driving cars or robot doctors, automatic cashiers and new military robots that will make autonomous decisions? 

Those are just a few of my thoughts. You might agree on some, might not like them, but if it did kind of tick off the ignorance and you started to think about it, I feel quite happy either way. 

If you want to see a pretty good and brand new movie about the Ai, check this out –

DO YOU TRUST THIS COMPUTER?

Also, Noah Harari on Future tech might give you a pretty good start to spark an interest to find out more.

Always wishing you the best,

Ieva

 

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