In an Early 2019 blog post ,Independent journalist Dagny Taggart wrote the following article concerning the future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)surveillance and the push for for global governance.
A prominent Oxford philosopher who is known for making terrifying predictions about humanity has a new theory about our future, and it isn’t pretty.Over 15 years ago, Nick Bostrom,(A prominent Transhumanist) author of Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, made the case that we are all living in a Matrix-like computer simulation run by another civilization.
Will humanity eventually be destroyed by one of its own creations?
If you find the idea of living in a computer simulation that is run by unknown beings troubling, wait until you hear Bostrom’s latest theory : “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.” Bostrom took the stage at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, to share some of the insights from his latest work. While speaking to head of the conference, Chris Anderson, Bostrom argued that mass surveillance could be one of the only ways to save humanity – from a technology of our own creation.
His theory starts with a metaphor of humans standing in front of a giant urn filled with balls that represent ideas. There are white balls (beneficial ideas), grey balls (moderately harmful ideas), and black balls (ideas that destroy civilization). The creation of the atomic bomb, for instance, was akin to a grey ball — a dangerous idea that didn’t result in our demise.
Bostrom posits that there may be only one black ball in the urn, but, once it is selected, it cannot be put back. (Humanity would be annihilated, after all.)
According to Bostrom, the only reason that we haven’t selected a black ball yet is because we’ve been “lucky.”
If scientific and technological research continues, we will eventually reach it and pull it out. Our civilization has a considerable ability to pick up balls, but no ability to put them back into the urn. We can invent but we cannot un-invent. Our strategy is to hope that there is no black ball.
If technological development continues then a set of capabilities will at some point be attained that make the devastation of civilization extremely likely, unless civilization sufficiently exits the semi-anarchic default condition
Bostrom believes the only thing that can save humanity is government.
Bostrom has proposed ways to prevent this from happening, and his ideas are horrifyingly dystopian:
The first would require stronger global governance which goes further than the current international system. This would enable states to agree to outlaw the use of the technology quickly enough to avert total catastrophe, because the international community could move faster than it has been able to in the past. Bostrom suggests in his paper that such a government could also retain nuclear weapons to protect against an outbreak or serious breach.
The second system is more dystopian, and would require significantly more surveillance than humans are used to. Bostrom describes a kind of “freedom tag,” fitted to everyone that transmits encrypted audio and video that spots signs of undesirable behavior. This would be necessary, he argues, future governance systems to preemptively intervene before a potentially history-altering crime is committed. The paper notes that if every tag cost $140, it would cost less than one percent of global gross domestic product to fit everyone with the tag and potentially avoid a species-ending event
These tags would feed information to “patriot monitoring stations,” or “freedom centers,” where artificial intelligence would monitor the data, bringing human “freedom officers” into the loop if signs of a black ball are detected.
Being monitored by artificial intelligence is a horrifying idea.
The idea of artificial intelligence monitoring human activity is particularly alarming, considering that we already know AI can develop prejudice and hate without our input and that robots have no sense of humor and might kill us over a joke. Many experts believe that AI will eventually outsmart humans, and the ultimate outcome will be the end of humanity. Bostrom acknowledged that the scenario could go horribly wrong, but he thinks the ends might justify the means:
Obviously, there are huge downsides and indeed massive risks to mass surveillance and global governance.On an individual level, we seem to be kind of doomed anyway.
I’m just pointing out that if we are lucky, the world could be such that these would be the only way you could survive a black ball.
So to summarize,according to our Global Governance Do-gooders,Humanity is ultimately irresponsible and unable to maintain freedom and security. So eventually when it comes to peace and the future survival of Humankind,Humans will need to forgoe their antiquated ideas of Freedom,Liberty and Independence. We will need to be lorded over by our Transhumanist /AI assisted global overlords.
Fast forward to 2021/22
In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, (and every other virus outbreak since has somehow,become our new existential threat)the framework of a Global surveillance state has expanded even further with our current level of Mass surveillance and AI algorithms.
Cue the Biosecurity Hysteria if you will… Foreign Policy magazine
The only way were going to get ahead of this worldwide deadly (99.8% survival rate) virus, And every other endemic virus hereafter is to allow ourselves to be constantly surveilled,tracked,traced and compliant with the Biosecurity dictates of our government’s. Because you know..they’re just trying to keep us alive and “safe” guys…..
The growing Global surveillance network that watches our every move and tracks our everyday habits hasn’t DONE ENOUGH to provide us with Safety from our newest invisible enemy.
the Internet’s system of surveillance has been perfected beyond our imaginations (and usually beyond our acknowledgment). It now extends over email, social media, credit card payments, cell-phone use, and travel records. Every flight and hotel booking, every payment and bank transfer, every call, every picture can be brought together in a single platform and mined for interesting or unusual patterns.
Yet, while extending in every direction, this system was completely powerless to warn us about the coronavirus or to help us fight it. That is about to change—and our concept of personal privacy will have to change with it.
If only we could get past this pesky idea of anonymity,privacy and freedom of movement,we could beat you all……errr i mean this virus into submission:
If only governments used all the technology already available to them. Each case could then be treated according to individual parameters. Once a person has been confirmed to be infected, his or her close contacts could automatically be traced and instructed to get tested. Meanwhile, the infected person’s compliance with lockdown instructions could be tracked using digital tools that monitor individual travel and behavior patterns.
Of course, this would require governments accessing cell-phone users’ individual data—and eliminating the legal hurdles currently preventing them from doing so.
One obvious possibility as we slowly lift the physical restrictions now in place is to replace those blunt instruments with something more advanced and intelligent. Imagine a new coronavirus patient is detected. Once he or she tests positive, the government could use cell-phone data to trace everyone he or she has been in close proximity to, perhaps focusing on those people who were in contact for more than a few minutes. Everyone in that list would receive a message ordering them to immediately go into isolation. They would themselves be tested, and the process would start again.
Your cell-phone signal could then be used to enforce quarantine decisions. Leave your apartment and the authorities will know. Leave your phone behind and they will call you. Run the battery down and a police car will be at your door in a manner of minutes.
While the author of the article stop’s short of calling for an outright Totalitarian Bio-security regime,(he even manages to advocate for some small form of privacy) The hit’s keep coming with this statement of complete cognitive dissonance:
Privacy hawks may disagree, but a surveillance system can be a way to leave people alone. Properly designed, it consists of a kind of security perimeter—mostly virtual—within which life can go on undisturbed.
The future we have to look forward to if we want to remain protected from future pandemics,(or insert your favorite boogeyman…Rabid nationalist’s next???)is in pre-emptive action and monitoring. The author calls for a sort of Phillip. K. Dick Pre-crime version of Health surveillance:
In any event, we are only at the beginning. The real game is not to create the technology to monitor restrictive measures during an outbreak but to prevent it from happening in the first place. In two or three years, after the coronavirus threat has receded, the challenge will be to build the kind of system that can prevent future pandemics before they occur, just as the goal of an effective counterterrorism policy must be to stop potential attacks during the planning stage rather than to catch the culprits after they succeed.
And just to throw in a little flashback bit of fear mongering,For those of you who had the displeasure of living through the decade of a global war on terror (GWOT):
The chances that the system will not be gradually expanded to include biosecurity look very slim, not least because the coronavirus pandemic has already become immeasurably more devastating than any terrorist attack could hope to be.
Be afraid plebs..be very afriad. Because our Global overlords will see to it that we will always have some enemy to face,that requires the sacrifices of our physical and eventually mental freedom.