Author Topic: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?  (Read 352 times)

Dave

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Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« on: August 18, 2017, 10:27:53 AM »
Sort of links to the Trumpite use of website data to trace dissenters against his regime, but going a step further...

Very interesting, and worrying, broadcast on BBC World Service on face recognition and its growth (especially in China, they, apparently, do not "all look alike" to computers) and what appears to be a certain laxity in regulation in some places - including America.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cstygq

I think there are apps that blind oeople can use on their smartphones to recognise people, that is a more beneficial use and, presumably, needs the person to know their image is being stored. I will not be surprised when head mounted cameras for this sort of purpose become readily available, saves going around holding your smartphone up next to your face!

Linked to this is things like vehicle registration recognition in carparks to automatically admit permitted vehicles, there is at least one carpark uding this in Gloucester - my car is registered with it. But does it monitor and record every vehicle in and out? Do they share those records? Are we allowed to know? There are already recognition systems in use on major roads in the UK and, with solar paneks and mobile phone tech such devices could be mounted almost anywhere. Power and landlines no longer absolutely essential, the ticket machines in above mentioned carpark are solar powered already.
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hermes2015

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 10:39:12 AM »
When they introduced e-tags on our toll roads, there was a big outcry, but I do find it very convenient to just keep driving without having to stop at pay booths on the highways.

Dave

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 08:18:19 AM »
Another aspect of the e-society - influence, particularly political influence.

During the 2016 American presidential campaign it seems the Russians started up thousands, maybe millions, of fake Twitter accounts. These monitored for certain key words and retweeted the carrying tweets amongst themselves. Thus some tweets became very "popular", gaining tens of thousands of retweets very quickly.

However, according to a radio orogramme this also caused the downfall of the system. A group sent tweets containing "bait", combinations of known target keywords. But they included Twitter's own address in their post. Thus the bots sent thousands of retweets, all in the same format, to Twitter who quickly closed those "cloning" accounts down. But there are still thousands, if not millions, of the things out there.

So, if the number of retweets a political tweet gets looks even a tad unlikely the chances are it has been falsely boosted by bots.

Of course, the Russians deny this is anything to do with their government...

So, Twitter fans, beware of being duped, the potential for fraud is very high. I am sure this will get worse before it gets better, if it ever does get better. Trouble is there might be enough dupes out there who accept this stuff as genuine to swing public opinion in poles or even elections. As the e-population increases so does the potential for this sort of propaganda.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/04/03/522503844/how-russian-twitter-bots-pumped-out-fake-news-during-the-2016-election

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/twitter-bot-retweet-campaign/2017/08/07/id/806359/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/08/24/russian_bots_are_sharing_extreme_right_wing_information_on_twitter_after.html

And mire.
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Dave

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 07:45:03 PM »
Another strp into sci-fi's oredictions . . .

QR codes are nothing new, appearing on adverts etc to provide you with more info on the product or service. The Chinese are taking it one stage further, police stations manned by QR scanners. 

OK, only for routine stuff like permits, you use the code to enter the station, it uses your data to fill in the forms with your details. Yes, it probably relies on more data bring held in the "cloud", as befits a very regulated nation. But, Chrome already fills in my name and address on online forms, the DVLA has my medical data on record to check whether or not I can simply be issued a driving licence on line or have to do it manually . . . Amazon knows an awful lot about me.

There are schemes for just waving your card or phone at a terminal to pay for stuff so we are at least part of the way towards an ID tattoo/chip on/in the hand. Hmm, not such a good idea, very open to crime. Maybe really nasty crime. Stick with a plastic card or a phone, rather lose than a hand!
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Dave

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 04:08:02 PM »
Listening to a couple of progs on BBC World Service

Looks like lots of companies got caught out by the launch of the Euro General Data Protection Regulations. Some American media outlets were not available because they did not want to risk getting fined. Other companies are reported as using GDPR to "force" people to keep signed up. I only responded to those I wanted, be interesting to see how much less falls into my email inbox.

Another item was on face recognition, the ACLU (rightfully I think) being annoyed at Amazon selling fr tech to the police.
Quote
Amazon is selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement
https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-is-selling-facial-recognition-technology-to-law-enforcement/

Is that as bad as "Do no evil" Google selling AI tech to the military?
Quote
What should you do when Google gets into bed with the US military?
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-microsoft-amazon-us-military-ai-conflict

It seems that BMW China advertised for a machine learning expert, offering $650 000. France wants to become an AI leader but it seems no-one in Europe offers anything close. Nor does anyone match China's spend on FR and AI. It seems France is changing from pumping banking and business clones out of its unis and going for high tech entrepreneurship, tech incubators and venture capital - but has a lot of catching up to do.

The BBC programmes:

Quote
European Data Regulation Comes Into Force
World Business Report
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation comes into force today. It's a new EU law that changes how personal data can be collected and used. There are already issues: Europeans have not been able to access some US websites because the US companies have not come into line with the regulation. We ask Greg Sparrow of CompliancePoint in Atlanta whether some US companies had underestimated the scale of the change. Police in Malaysia say the $28 million in cash seized from homes linked to the former prime minister, Najib Razak, took twenty-two bank tellers three days to count. Mr Najib is being investigated over corruption allegations. Karishma Vaswani gives us the latest. Fuel prices in India have risen for the 12th straight day. Yogita Limaye has been hearing about the effect on people and businesses in Mumbai. And a couple's private conversation was recorded by Amazon's Echo device and emailed to someone, all without it being instructed to do so. Rick Henderson of Pocket Lint explains how it happened.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w172w47drtjrxl7

Quote
Nowhere To Hide
Tech Tent
Amazon has defended working with US police forces to provide facial recognition technology, amid concern from civil rights groups. Matt Cagle from the American Civil Liberties Union tells us why he's worried. Plus, are Europe's new data privacy rules, known as GDPR, a first step in regulating the tech sector for the benefit of its users, or will their complexity and ambiguity amount to a missed opportunity? And, why the French president thinks his country can lead the world in artificial intelligence. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Foxx, and special guest Kate Bevan, editor of Which? Computing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswnl7

With Alexa not performing quite as expected and self-driving cars still not perfectly safe tech-toy lover that I am I think I will wear the Sensible Hat for a while longer! Maybe Alexa etc purchasers should be allowed to train their own "wake words" or phrases into such devices.

And it seems that Uber's usage of that car, turning off it's existing emergency systems, may have contributed to the accident.


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Arturo

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 10:45:14 PM »
Nobody said self-driving cars were to be perfect. They just said that they were better than humans.

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Dave

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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2018, 04:40:19 AM »
Nobody said self-driving cars were to be perfect. They just said that they were better than humans.

Yet to be proved but - yeah, only a few million more miles might provide the ststs that dies do.

Can the self-drive car spot the confused/distracted looking pedestrian, currently ten foot from the edge of the road, who might change course, without looking, any second? Or the car that looks like it is going faster than the stream coming down the "on ramp" to merge-in just in front of you but, currently, apparently well outside any posdible impact zone. Or "reading the traffic" several vehicles ahead and two lanes sideways.

The observant driver, consciously and unconsciously, takes in and reacts to data not in his or her immediate location and prepares for possible action. Not sure if a vehicle sensor system, as currently used, can really compare with an aware human in terms of the ammount and type of data absorbed and processed. Closer, though the effect might come sooner after detection, 360 degree observation and constant reactive action ability might be an advantage. On hopes though that in avoiding collision with one other vehicle it does not over-reacy and drive jnto snother - as humans are prone to do!

There again, what percentage of human drivers can or do maintain that kind of awareness after four hours of driving or whilst their passenger is twittering on about last night's game or playing "back-seat-driver"? AI systems are immune to fatigue and distraction of that type.

When all cars are AI driven, act perfectly on voice command and navigation and anti-collision infrastructure is built into the actual road system, we will all proceed safely at the same speed, in the same direction, whilst checking our emails on the way to work, watching a video with the kids or playing soduko. Or maybe composing the next No. 1, Driving will be safer - but potentially more boring.
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Re: Technology and society - Big Brother or benefit?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2018, 09:34:33 PM »
Nobody said self-driving cars were to be perfect. They just said that they were better than humans.

Yet to be proved but - yeah, only a few million more miles might provide the ststs that dies do.

Can the self-drive car spot the confused/distracted looking pedestrian, currently ten foot from the edge of the road, who might change course, without looking, any second? Or the car that looks like it is going faster than the stream coming down the "on ramp" to merge-in just in front of you but, currently, apparently well outside any posdible impact zone. Or "reading the traffic" several vehicles ahead and two lanes sideways.

The observant driver, consciously and unconsciously, takes in and reacts to data not in his or her immediate location and prepares for possible action. Not sure if a vehicle sensor system, as currently used, can really compare with an aware human in terms of the ammount and type of data absorbed and processed. Closer, though the effect might come sooner after detection, 360 degree observation and constant reactive action ability might be an advantage. On hopes though that in avoiding collision with one other vehicle it does not over-reacy and drive jnto snother - as humans are prone to do!

There again, what percentage of human drivers can or do maintain that kind of awareness after four hours of driving or whilst their passenger is twittering on about last night's game or playing "back-seat-driver"? AI systems are immune to fatigue and distraction of that type.

When all cars are AI driven, act perfectly on voice command and navigation and anti-collision infrastructure is built into the actual road system, we will all proceed safely at the same speed, in the same direction, whilst checking our emails on the way to work, watching a video with the kids or playing soduko. Or maybe composing the next No. 1, Driving will be safer - but potentially more boring.

I think they did road trials before they started to sell those. Tesla also has the safest car on the market according to their website and I think that came from the official standard set in the USA and by whichever organization is in charge of that.

As for the future of vehicles, we said this in another thread I think but cars will be going much faster because of their advanced capability. But my concern is how will people cross the road now? Will there still be stop lights or will they have the crosswalks that go over or under the road?

But yeah definitely more boring. I also see some not so savvy people doing...things that they shouldn't in their car. Maybe they should make a system that recognizes those behavior and restrains their passenger....kidding.

Also people in apartments like me will have to find places to charge our car that are not at the facility since parking lots cannot accommodate those. Especially if they have no space. But the good news is that the Teslas are said to be able to travel almost the entire length of california from north to south on one charge. So distance should not be an issue as long as that is true. But it may be a pain. Or maybe they can make an efficient solar powered vehicle that can be charged via sunlight.

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