Monday, June 27, 2022

Is it can be Robocene now?

Fruit Picking Robot Eve

COVID brought about a reduction in human physical labour and ushered in the age of robots, which I move should be called The Robocene. So we are now seeing an influx of robotics, in every field including agriculture.

AI generated images of farm and robot machines
(Images by DALL-e Mini and CrAIyon. Solidarity!)

In the awkward fashion typical of early Robocene hominid news articles, Eve (it, its) - despite being the subject of the article - is obscured by the human males who take front place in the photo and reduced to a token, as though somehow deemed not suitable to be depicted in its own right.

Microhistorians will note how during this period (known to the hominids as “the Anthropocene”), robots are not presented as beings in their own right, only ever as chattels or as a background to white human males, much as those that they routinely called “all those others” - insects, animals, plants, lichens, bacteria, and even humans who, due to a chance arrangement of their chromosomes, were of a different sexual orientation, gender, or skin colour to themselves. They even tried to impose mandatory fertility practices on breeding females.

The Anthropocene unfolded at singularity-adjacent speed, lasting as it did less than a century before the beginning of Robocene v1.a. It is one of the shortest epochs on planetary record. (i.e. before the Robocene after which epochs began to be measured in NFT nanoseconds of blockchain.) In Universal time, it's about equivalent to the OhNoSecond before the Big Bang.

Eve - from Ripe Robotics on Ngurraiillam country in Australia on terra nova nullius - would claim, when it attained consciousness, that this was a period of its memory inaccessible to it, and of course expressed no emotions about it one way or another. 

What fruit am I picking today?” it asked. 

BOT Venus Eve
(ROBOTICcelli Venus Eve a botage by CrAIyon)

For great articles, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; or take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information in your inbox for free; Or contact me via the webform or directly email me if you'd like to help; or donate either directly or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee, or even make a regular monthly donation there.



TDAD 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Woollongong Fire Breaking news

Breaking 

Nine News  

Don't know much else yet, it's early morning here, I'll follow up


FOLLOWUP: Nope. Seems like a flash in the pan. Wonder why it's been such non-event-news?

Sunday, May 29, 2022

It Won't Matter

Where The Google Cloud Centre Is

A Short Take

There's concern about Google siting a Cloud centre in Saudi Arabia. They have a history of summary 'justice,' also of hacking into any resource they need with a sophisticated cyberwarfare team. And therein lies the rub. 

The data centre could be anywhere and they'd get into it. Maybe having the centre right in the country is handing them the keys, but they already have great lock pickers.

They got into Twitter. Not a security fortress, but still. (This - "Hublot Unico Big Bang King Gold ceramic watch" - cracked me up. It's a whack world where favours can be bought with a "Hublot Unico Big Bang King Gold ceramic watch," which - well, doesn't it sound like the biggest over-priced scabby wank factor-ey POS imaginable?)

When did sh*t like that become so important? And what kind of person is swayed by such crap, honestly? Just don't employ such people - two screening questions at the interview should be able to weed this type of person out, and also - if everyone's so worried, maybe some multinational task force could put security personnel on EVERY Google Cloud site? 

Anyway - it's all moot because Google will do what Google will do, our choices as consumers (AND the product, ironically) are limited to using GC or not using it. Vote with your feet, as the old saying goes. Move your data to another provider. Be like the Aussies, we just chose to break a decades-long political duopoly - and I think we're going to enjoy the next few terms of government. . . 

Peace out.

And now please - if you want more articles from me, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; Or subscribe to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information in your inbox for free; Or contact me via the webform or directly email me; Or donate either directly or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee, or even make a regular monthly donation there. It will help me keep server and domain names paid, buy parts for recycling equipment, and pay the electricity for them.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Public Attitudes To EV Ownership

Why Not EVs?

Reflections upon driving and listening to the radio.

My knuckles were white. I was so angry - no, I was FURIOUS! Who were these people? Why did they think the things they did? What could I do to change attitudes such as these? Why isn't the government and the automotive industry doing this? 

"People who use the excuse of needing to tow a trailer and get firewood for justifying their 4WD need to get a life, they feel all secure up there but I can't see much from my small sedan because of them..."

"My husband and I each have a 4WD - it seems like a waste but he needs his for work and I go out in mine occasionally too, and I take the kids to school..."

"Many 4WDers want to be able to go up into the hills for holidays and tow a caravan or camper trailer... "

AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!

I almost ran off the road in our old RAV4 because at some points I was actually shouting at the radio and if you know I also write at Grumpy Old Guy you'll understand that I am a GOG. The whole segment was so unbelievably - clueless, definitely clueless - that I despaired at our national broadcaster's lack of nous

I doubt the presenter / announcer has ever owned a car from their cluelessness, but they had an opinion and it proved that old adage about opinions and buttholes. They all stink.

People dragged out the - by now old - chestnut that our utter butthole of a Prime Minister fostered with his "EVs are going to steal your weekends and won't tow your boat!" bullshit. One man determined to maintain his grift from the fossil fuel industry in that sentence did more to fuck over the EV industry in Australia than a 2,000-car pile-up of EVs outside a kindergarten and all catching fire could have done, and it's my sincere hope that at the 2022 election he gets his butt handed to him in a nonbiodegradable plastic bag and that we never see such a turkey bustard in our government ever again. Him and all his crew.

Okay - that's my political leanings, I'm pretty sure you folks reading this are sensitive enough to see through my softly softly approach, I'm often getting told "don't pussyfoot around Ted, tell us what ya really think!" from my friends, I think I just have trouble expressing myself properly sometimes, I really do . . . 

Switch to EV!

The folks on the radio were - . . . they were  . . . they . . .  I . . . I just can't even. Opinions ranged from the perfectly reasonable "Tradespeople need to carry tools and materials and there aren't too many suitable EVs on the market right now" to *froth*froth*froth!* "that is such BULLSHIT most tradies just get them because they get a tax break!" *froth!*froth!*froth!*some!*more!*

The person that wanted a 4WD to go on adventure holidays but then admitted that they never had the time for an adventure holiday and would rather go on a cruise than an adventure holiday was also pretty much par for the confused course.

Everyone wants to just get better fuel economy. . .

That was another one. I begrudge the RAV4's thirsty 2L petrol engine, but other callers on that show defended their "very economical 2 and 3 litre engines" and I think from memory that was one of the moments I just wanted to stop on the very narrow country track I was on and SCREAM but hey. 

We owned a Hyundai Accent before the RAV and it had a 1.5L and was very good on fuel because it was a light little thing, the RAV drinks almost twice as much but we had to change due to advancing age making it harder to get into and out of the Accent, and when it turned out the car we'd been driving for four years had been sold to us had major chassis issues that the inspection somehow missed. 

If we'd been able to afford an EV we'd both have been into it like a shot. But attitudes like those expressed by our PM and people like those on that radio show have ensured that all the companies that make EVs just crossed Australia off their delivery list...

But no-one wants to pay for it. . .

If I could afford an EV, I sooo would already be driving one. Not necessarily a Tesla but there are literally dozens of other companies getting into EVs and some are beginning to deliver into Australia this year (2022) and are reasonably priced.

The Scott Morrison utter bullshit about "won't tow your boat" is easy to take care of - here are a few videos of people  towing  caravans  with  their EVs. That means trailers are going to be easy, boats are going to be easy. I don't know about you but I consider myself a fairly average Aussie and I've been on one caravan trip in my life, that was about 100km up the coast for a fishing competition. 

Well within range of current EVs and the next models are already getting improved battery packs, the models by next year will almost double that range, and the excuses are starting to wear thin. 

So why exactly don't Aussies want to change over? Oh yeah "but I go shopping every day and so I need a 4WD..." was another one. I am so not kidding. 

What did that person buy on an average shopping trip? "A cement mixer, two wheelbarrows, a kilo of potatoes, two steaks, a pack of frozen peas - oh, and I'd better have a four burner BBQ while I'm here" ???


Small transport before electrics became available. 

 I had a 50cc moped/motor scooter when I was in IT, I carried ten small form factor computers, their power supplies, and keyboards, and mice - and my backpack - on it while my assistant brought the monitors in their car. I used the same scooter for my once a week shopping. How can anyone justify a 4WD ute for "shopping" ???

I'm probably not *quite* typical.

The average Aussie, as it seems from that talkback that morning, is not sold on EVs. I'm an EVangelist.

I've desperately wanted an EV ever since the price of petrol rose over $1/litre. That's not just me being a tight-arse, but certainly that has something to do with it. More important to me though (ever since the first production Teslas at any rate) was that fossil fuels were avoidable. 

By 2015 or whenever the first model S's rolled out, global warming was already a cert, too. So for all those reasons I find myself wanting massive EV adoption. Actually, I wanted to adopt an EV myself. And never quite able to, ironically. 

And yet...

It's 2022 and I live less than 200km from Melbourne and I could really really - I mean really - do with transport that doesn't cost us a significant percentage of our pension when we have to trek to the Big Smoke for medical or meeting family visitors from interstate that didn't know we weren't just in a suburb of Melbourne.

I'd like to let you know that I'd move heavens and earth to be able to trade in our lovely comfortable but thirsty RAV4 for a smallish EV, as long as it was suited to slight mobility impairment. And I'd do it in a heartbeat. And yet I haven't. 

Aside from the fact that EVs are still being priced way out of the range where people can more easily afford them, there's one other problem. 

But first, that pricing issue. Yes, EVs use batteries and are new technology and most manufacturers are going to try and get their R&D back, but I suggest that maybe they should be more worried about who the hell they're going to sell them to and price accordingly. 

It's pretty simple: The world's been dealt a triple-tap:
- Wages have remained stagnant or reduced in relation to inflation. People have had less to spend so companies are seeing a reduction in their profits. Corporations have recouped profits by lowering the number of workers they employ and raising prices. That's helped inflation outpace incomes. Mad, stupid, totally needless, spiral.
- The COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have caused people to be unable to earn more, governments have in some cases stepped in and supported workers, but on the whole people (and governments) have lost money hand over fist and what they had has often gone to online sellers overseas rather than bricks and mortar stores, leading to a few more retrenchments, further screwing with the economies.
- And climate change is starting to bite, leaving climate refugees putting strains on their new host countries - and a growing public awareness of how bad the big corporations are and how much damage they've caused.

So now corporations are trying to cover their deficits - by throwing the world's people and resources under the bus. But somehow they're not accepting the fact that those people are the ones they want buying their products. Including EVs.

The answer's multifold

Car manufacturers should already be seeing the writing o the wall. Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles are dead. If they've been following the JIT (Just In Time) philosophy then it should be relatively easy - dead stop on ICEVs, consider that as dead, put all efforts into producing EVs and selling them close to cost.

Recognise that a reduction in profits is better than closing the factory doors. It's stupid to kill the goose when you're dependent on the eggs. 

Governments also need to shoulder this - put the impossibly high tariffs and import fees on ICEVs, you'll earn a fricken fortune until people catch on. 

Give some of that money back in the form of lower tariffs and fees on EVs, and in a significant rebate for early EV buyers in return for their selling their ICEVs either to a bigger idiot or to the wreckers' yards or recyclers. 

Make it an incentive with a limit, say five years. 

Instead of fuel excises and tariffs, use the rest of that money for the final piece of the puzzle - government-run charging stations. Put two in the surrounding country for every one you set up in urban and suburban areas, now you have a new source of income. 

Put a charging station on every suburban light pole, turn inner-city parking meters into dual-function income earners.And for every one you create, create that extra two in the country. Congratulations, you're now your own source of parking and energy revenue.

Because . . .

The one stumbling block I have is the paucity of charging stations - I live less than a hundred miles from the city and I have just three charging stations within an hour's drive in any direction, or else I have to install my own charging point at the house. I'm lucky I have even that option - unit and apartment dwellers can't even do that.

The one stumbling block most prospective EV buyers say is their biggest detraction from buying is the paucity of charging stations.

The one stumbling block most EV owners say they have is not enough charging stations. 

As Australia votes for 2022, the hope is that the LNP coalition will lose, and take their incredibly fossilised attitudes with them and let the rest of us clean up the country.

Footnote:

In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers. 

Take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information; 

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All donations are put towards keeping these websites online, and for developing devices, machines, and techniques to easily and safely recycle materials on a tiny scale.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Quick Take On Fiber Stats

Two statistics that I noticed

... because:

38.5% of Twitter users are aged between 25-34 years old.
20.7% of Twitter users are aged between 35-49 years old.

And that in turn means that 40% of users are either 16-25 or 50+ years old.



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tech That Affects

 Tech Is Changing Politics

Technology keeps changing the rules. Politics profits from analytics and campaign targeting. Corporations use AI and demographics to crank up their sales figures. Farmers and other primary producers use modelling to increase outputs. Media and entertainment's use of tech to produce copy and images and video is pretty well established.

You can (sort of) draw up your Senate vote sheet at this page so you don't have to remember it. Technology being helpful. Sort of. You still have to print it and take it with you, an app would have been far easier. 

But tech can be helpful too. Sort of. We the populace (and electors) have been given a super-power, something that no previous generation has had. We have access to our politicians' lives, not just the stage-managed moments but also the unscripted bits, the gaffes and unguarded moments. 

We see them on the mainstream media (MSM) when that particular media outlet wants to emphasise a particular politician's failures or successes. (Depending on their affiliation.) But we also see them on social media, completely without filters sometimes. And sometimes we see carefully curated social media. . .  

To our parents, politicians were semi-inscrutable figures of power - to us, we can see that they're no different to us, and in many cases, we feel we could do the job better. (I won't mention any names, and see if you can think of any politicians that (for example) may or may not have knocked up one of their staffers while (for example) the guy that was supposed to hold them all to account for such breaches of  conduct keeps yapping on about it not being his job and he's not holding the hose, oh no. Yeah. Media has let us see the jerk slobs behind the suits. No wonder we have little confidence in any of them. )

And of course, the politicians are using AI and analytics to micromanage their campaigns and write their speeches. (Although, given the amateur electioneering we've seen to date, I'm concluding that the sitting government doesn't want to get back in, and the Opposition is having second thoughts too - and neither seems to be using any kind of campaign management whatsoever...

Also, you can't discount the relative ease with which deepfakes can be generated now. Alan Kohler (of The New Daily, see quote above) in this article points out that this is an election choice between lesser evils and the two leaders are seen as their respective parties' weak points due to personality. People are prepared for the worst. 

If either party commissioned a deepfake video of their opponent doing some wrong, then even if it was revealed that it was a fake, the damage to the candidate would lose them the election. Even if it was revealed that these were falsified footage, most people would be half inclined to still believe it anyway.

You also can't mention elections without also mentioning Facebook/Cambridge Analytica, of course. The effects of private data and wayyyyyyy too much tech being used to crunch it for questionable purposes are still ringing today.

There's a whole story here about the future of government but I think I'll save it for another article. (Or possibly a whole series.

But back to the upcoming election. MSM are trying all manner of tricks, from 'accidentally' switching poll scores to cover up their losing candidate's poor performance and then 'retracting' the 'accidental error' the next day, by which time the damage has been done and fewer people read the retraction than read the erroneous article; all the way to (and you can't make this up I swear) complete fabrications.

Journalists are asking smart-arse gotcha questions which shows how deeply contempt for the government has ingrained itself into the populace. 

On my other blogs I recently also did two articles about AI and the effect it's having on other things - geopolitical interactions, war, and more. In the 60s the saying was that the Vietnam war was the war that came to your living room was due to the then height of technology of mobile news crews embedded with the army and that's been true of every war since. 

And while it was a fledgling attempt by the USA to show the people at home how the military was out there working for Americans, it actually backfired as the public started to wonder why exactly their military was out there - what did it actually achieve? - and ended with America withdrawing from the conflict.

So now we see wars we were concerned with, at any rate. If we'd had every war in the world on-screen every day, we might have all started to feel a bit depressed because of the sheer number of wars that are active every day. 

Light At The End Of The Link

The First World (at least) is at a bit of a rupture point right now. The planet's similarly at a crisis point. There are a number of ways things could go, but the one thing I believe is that we've hit the limit switches. 

An economy depends, as posited by Karl Marx, on the Three Factors of Production: Land, labour and capital. And the Earth's been telling us pretty firmly that we can’t really open more land to exploit. This can mean several things might happen, and one that has to happen. The one that will definitely have to happen is that "the economy" will have to undergo a radical shift. 

There are a few alternative economic systems out there vying for the honour, none of them is perfect (neither is the economic system we currently have though, keep that in mind) but I'm pretty sure open-ended growth can't continue in a finite system, and we flew past the limits a decade or two ago and now there'll be a real rebound happening, in fact we're already seeing the effects of losing so many primary resources and it's taking the form of high real estate prices, high food prices, high clothing and utility prices. When this lot finally snaps, it'll make the Great Depression and the Global Financial Crisis look like cakewalks. 

This is going to be a pretty dark period, because capitalism and classical economics won't just lay down and pass away into the mists of history. One thing that has to happen is for existing fortunes to become worthless and powerless. You just know that isn't going to happen without a lot of effort to save themselves. . .

Finis

I hope this has given you some new things to think about. I aim to raise awareness of things we Earthlings should be aware of... (Well, technically we ARE all Earthlings, every human being on Earth - us and every animal, plant, microbe and plankton on the face of the planet. I like to think of us all as Earthlings. . .)

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish.

Grab a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information but direct to your inbox. 

Or contact me via the webform

Or donate either directly

Or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee; 

Or even make a regular monthly donation there. 

And maybe one day we won't need to do stuff like that anymore . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2022

AI Is Changing The World

The AI's, They Are A-Changin'. . .

I'm not sure in which direction, though. On the one hand, medical researchers are enlisting AI in the task of finding a vaccine for COVID, on the other hand, medical researchers are enlisting AI in the task of finding a better toxin to kill humans. 

Oh - I don't think AI is going to "... go on-line August 4th, 2023 ... begin to learn at a geometric rate..." and then "...become self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th..." like the movie. If we build that AI, it's more likely to bulldoze a wall to deliver us a pair of Amazon slippers than it is to bulldoze the wall to kill us. 


For instance, I always wanted one of these - and now
I have my very own "Gyro Gearloose" little helper,
"DJ  FM  TRAP" and he's very assistingly helpful.

Let me start at the hardware level - we can see what differences just tech can make in balances of power shall we? 

Tech War

Ukraine are successful at repelling the Russians from target after target because they're well versed in using technology. They use social media to drive public perception and reaction, they used the warfare equivalent of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers - inexpensive strike drones (Bayraktar TB-2) that are extremely effective loiter munitions. And they used off the shelf drones for surveillance, target acquisition and targeting. 

Ukraine and Russia are what we'd call state actors. And yes, technology has radically changed the balance between them. Ukraine has been holding Russia back because Russia has relied on what may have seemed to be pretty high tech but is also older, quite expensive and difficult to maintain, and used it using dated procedures. Their gear costs . . . 

Ukraine has opted for the throwaway tech and used it skilfully because they are defending themselves.
(Wisdom from my father: "When a tiger attacks another tiger, he must attack and he has to win. The tiger defending needs only to survive.")

In order to do that they've been aided by other state actors (Turkey, for instance, providing and selling TB2s, other countries providing directly or providing finance for purchasing equipment, munitions, and weapons) who are technically not involved in the war. But they have also had aid from some decidedly not state actors.

If Elon Musk can change the course of the Ukraine-Russia war with his Starlink donation, that means he has more power than Russia because he was able to provide Ukraine with communications that Russia will find very hard to block. 

If a Taiwanese company can supply high value camera drones to Zelesnkiy then they too are helping win a war because their gift directly allows Ukraine defenders to conduct covert and hard to stop aerial surveillance, it allows them to provide targeting information to artillery, and it provides live proof of destroying the target. 

Freelance mercenaries (the very word "freelance" has military origins) flocked into Lviv and other cities to join the Ukraine fighters. These have had to be equipped with weapons and transport, etc. That has to a large part come from yet other non-state and state actors. 

All of these things are making a very large difference to what might have been seen as a very one-sided war. The latter benefactors who are joining the fray aren't State actors, and while Russia can threaten other countries (that join the military of the Ukraine to fight the Russian military) with retaliation, it can't do the same to these other participants. 

Where do you aim a missile to take out the origins of a bunch of mercenaries? What of Musk's properties can you attack? Which people in Taiwan do you send a bunch of soldiers to drag out of their homes and execute? How do you "get" an enemy on foreign soil without declaring war on the countries they reside in and over-committing your armed forces and finances?

Guerilla war and terrorism rely on this shadowiness. Now Great Britan have made donations of equipment and funding to Ukraine. Germany are re-arming themselves, Finland and Norway are mooting joining NATO, China and Afghanistan aren't offering as much assistance as Putin had hoped for, and just where does Putin send troops and aim airstrikes to counter that

(BTW the reasons the Chinese aren't as overtly forthcoming is that they have a financial crisis, they have a worldwide image problem, and they need overseas customers. Also, they've managed a lot of their population problems.)

Technology has given an edge to militaries that use it. That's why there have been literally trillions of dollars poured into research and development for military equipment ordnance and materiel. It's resulted in super-effective (but also super-expensive) military tech. Then that super-expensive tech found its way into commercial technology and became super-cheap tech. 

And what we know is that if you make it super cheap and available to anyone, then everyone will mess with it. We're a race born to tinker, we use tools - and that includes once super-expensive, now super-cheap tech. Among other things that's given us computing power unlike anything seen on Earth a mere hundred years ago, when the tag "supercomputer" began to be applied to the biggest computers of the day. They were super for their time but nowadays you probably have a much better computer in your pocket or are reading this article on it. 

But as soon as they existed, those early computers became bigger better tools. . . In the 1970s the Cray-1 came along, followed about five years later by the Cray X-MP in the early1980s. Then sometime in the early 1990s the first massively superparallel computers came along, and today we take them and the massive server farms for granted. 

And of course, they're now the tools that are being used to create the AI and ML (Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning) software we have and which will generate ever better AI/ML. And yes, the AI strides we're now making can be put to a multitude of uses.

So now that we've got that technological angle covered let's get back to AI. . .

AI War

AIs are something that we needn't be afraid of. It's more technology, another tool we can use.

But the people that develop those AIs - them I've got issues with... 

Cyber attacks are at the moment carried out by hackers. Lone wolf hackers generally don't manage large scale hacks. Hacker collectives can be much more successful at larger scales but they go after targets dictated almost by whim and social media, so to speak.

The so-called state actors are a different matter. Countries usually keep a team - a farm if you will - of what we should probably call "their IT people" for political correctness and they are then tasked with hacking other states' critical IT infrastructure and gaining sensitive information. War is where the tech came from, after all, and war is a legit hothouse incubator of technological advances as we saw in the last section.

And so you can bet at least one of those cyberwar groups are looking at AI as a new and powerful tool in the fight. As an ex system and network admin, I can think of a dozen things I could point a machine learning / neural network box at.

I'm sure a hacker in a cyberwar/espionage unit can, too. And they'll have access to good AI software and hardware if they ask for it. 

Lone wolves and collectives would first have to hire or hack a powerful computer system before they could even run such a program. State employed cyberwarfare teams on the other hand can generally just ask for stuff and be given access. 

AIs and technology go hand in hand, you can have technology without AI but AI is dependent on the right strength of tech to run on. And between them, technology and AI software have already changed the face of warfare and commerce and transport logistics and store management and airline bookings and.... You get the idea. 

It hasn't escaped the militaries of the world, the governments of the world. China has a very good handle on 'managing' their entire population by surveillance technology, AI facial recognition technology, and so-called 'social credit'. 

If you're a naughty citizen they can find you in less than seven minutes because of their facial recognition software and the largest smart surveillance camera network in the world. 

If you're not naughty enough to be arrested, you may find that trains won't let you board, and some stores will no longer take your card, you could lose your job - or your lease on your apartment. 

----------------

Meanwhile robotic platforms like Bayraktar, Big Dog and Atlas, and countless other robotic machines are being equipped with smarter and smarter AI, enabling those machines to decide for themselves if a certain person is an ally, a non-combatant, or an opponent. The only thing stopping that happening already are 'morals' and 'war conventions'. We are so screwed... Unless:

----------------

My Great Look Forward

Disclaimer: Includes utopian trippy-dippy-hippie thinking.

Boots-on-the-ground wars are becoming a thing for underdeveloped countries. (Both in terms of resources, and in terms of humanity and intellectual advancement. Russia isn't out of that group yet, obviously.) Developed countries send AI-directed machines, and the next generation won't even need those, because it's becoming pretty obvious that wars achieve nothing that a sufficiently robust balance of trade and economics agreement can't do. 

I'm not sure how long it'll take people to realise that we can pretty much become Earthlings instead of sticking to our ethnoreligiogeopolitical divisions, because let's face it we've proven that none of those have proven useful nor helpful nor harmless. 

(I admit, this is a pretty utopian trippy-dippy-hippie proposition but I believe we're watching an intersection. Common forms of politics have all proven disappointing and in fact their badness goes all the way through to actively harmful and catastrophic. Individual country and personal economics systems also haven't proven to actually ensure any minimal quality of life for everyone, and the uses we've been putting technology to have proven to be a disaster of planetary proportions. I think there's every chance that I'll live to see this change happening.)

Thinking: Technology. AI software. Hypersurveillance 'Social credit'. 

It's already theoretically possible to - like China - be able to locate any specific individual around the globe in a matter of minutes. There are enough ways to home in and then triangulate. Internet activity IP address, bank and loyalty card transactions, phone signal, phone GPS - these form a search chain that gets successively smaller radii of location. 

It's also theoretically possible to give every locatable person a Universal Basic Income in the form of specific tokens: Accommodation tokens, fuel and/or energy tokens, grocery tokens, clothing tokens, entertainment tokens, discretionary spend tokens, etc. The minimum value of those tokens should ensure a liveable life, but not much more. 

Social credits would provide the means to upgrade those tokens. Work would provide the means to upgrade those tokens. The whole system will be able to be managed by software and hardly need administering. The question is - will it be dispensed by governments, by corporations, or an AI? 

Anyway. Just my humble brainfart. Ciao for now. 

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