Sunday, 7 December 2014

Young People and 1984

The scientist at Sheffield University and TV personality Prof. Noel Sharkey has voiced his concerns about how information technology could be weaponized and laments at how the new generations seem oblivious or indifferent to that. Prof. Sharkey has the very field of expertise to know; he's an expert in artificial intelligence and robotics. He has entered the public eye as a pundit on the use of robots in the military. The sixty-five year old is very cautious about his personal data online. He is wary while posting on Facebook or Google. He knows that all kinds of people monitor what individual internet users do. This could be for comparatively harmless reasons, targeted marketing and advertizing for instance, see: However, the government security services do the same for their own covert motives. Google have been very active in working alongside organizations involved in the surveillance and cybernetics industry, like the companies Deep-Mind and Nest Labs, see: The fact is, this kind of technology could be very useful; I don't object to being able to switch my central heating on and off while away of holiday. Nevertheless in this world we have a malicious authority structure so we have to address capabilities, not professed intents; locks to improve security in a hotel can be adapted into a system for monitoring the movements of staff, see: That's just the start; when you look into the transhumanism agenda you'll have an idea what the final objective might be, see: However Prof Sharkey can take heart from something. He describes himself as "part of the generation which all read 1984; I think we are less happy about giving up our privacy." He believes younger people don't read that book often enough. Yet Orwell's classic allegory of totalitarianism is still in print and can be purchased at all good bookshops for a reasonable price. A few years ago I saw 1984 for sale at a Nottingham branch of Waterstones in the charts at number thirty-nine, see: So all is not lost.

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