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Tech: nirvana or nightmare?


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A precis collation of the dramas in tech in recent years, in pictures and charts

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Tech: nirvana or nightmare?

  1. 1. Tech: nirvana or nightmare? State-of-play report: 19th May 2018 FutureToday
  2. 2. It is clear that AI and robotics can create a lot of social good 10 examples
  3. 3. IBM's Watson supplies a life-saving diagnosis for a patient who baffled doctors for months 8th Aug 2016 The super-computer powered with AI prescribes a leukemia treatment within minutes, having scanned 20 million medical records.
  4. 4. Top surgeons talk about how much better robots are at certain procedures than they are 5th Apr 2018 This in a new feature film released today that examines the pros and cons of AI and robotics: “Do You Trust this Computer?”
  5. 5. “Nanobots kill off cancerous tumours as fiction becomes reality” 7th Jan 2016 4th Mar 2018 A US/Chinese team shrinks tumours in mice and inhibits their spread by injecting nanometre-sized bots made of folded DNA.
  6. 6. Robot asked at UN how AI and robotics can help those without internet and electricity knows how 7th Jan 2016 12th Oct 2017 “Sophia” UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J Mohammed “AI can increase efficiency and so make it possible for resources to be more evenly distributed.”
  7. 7. First people to live in 3D-printed houses (very resource efficient) likely to be in developing world 7th Jan 2016 12th Mar 2018 8 months to build a community of 100 homes, at c. $6k each. With a 3-D printer, less than 4 months: a home a day at c. $4k each. As successfully tested by charity New Story in Austin, Texas
  8. 8. Google has built earbuds that translate 40 languages in real time 7th Jan 2016 4th Oct 2017 40 institutions, 4 times bigger than previous record …on anniversary of death of St Francis of AssissiGoogle’s DeepMind AI can now translate fast enough to allow conversation between people who do not share a language.
  9. 9. 7th Jan 2016 13th Feb 2017 SFO expected to promote crime-solving AI robot after success in Rolls Royce corruption investigation Ravn’s ACE software sifted 30 million documents: 600,000 a day, far exceeding the capabilities of even a large team of humans.
  10. 10. 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2018 “A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas” Costs of both technologies have fallen much faster than expected …and this minus much synergistic application of AI and robotics in smart grids. The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About To Change Forever
  11. 11. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Nov 2017 “Immense future benefits” available from AI use in solar and wind industries: DNV GL report Proxy founders and PR agency drafting uncovered by a Bloomberg investigationSensors already deployed…. robots will increasingly be used…. huge operational datasets ….and deep-learning analysis will be routine.
  12. 12. “Wild New Materials of the Future Will Be Discovered With AI” 7th Jan 2016 22nd Mar 2018 The number of scientific papers has grown exponentially in recent years, spanning multiple applications. “We are only at the beginning.”
  13. 13. But…. Many uses of tech hold potential for both upsides and downsides
  14. 14. HSBC becomes the latest bank to deploy AI to help spot money laundering 7th Jan 2016 8th Apr 2018 And who programmes the AI? Hopefully not the kind of HSBC staff who oversaw the “regrettable mistakes” of 2012?
  15. 15. IBM develops an AI that can predict psychosis with relative precision using only a person's speech 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 Computational Psychiatry and Neuroimaging group back-casts against 2015 dataset that matched speech patterns with later psychosis.
  16. 16. MIT researchers develop a device that can ‘hear’ words spoken in thought, via neuromuscular signals 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 The ‘AlterEgo’ device scores 92% transcription accuracy in a 10-person trial with about 15 minutes of customising to each person.
  17. 17. We are being warned loudly and clearly about the downsides ….by a big constituency, including many practitioners
  18. 18. Hawking, Musk and others on AI frontlines sign letter pledging to ensure research benefits mankind 12th Jan 2016 Research must ensure “that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do.”
  19. 19. George Soros: Facebook and Google are a “menace” to society and must be regulated 7th Jan 2016 26th Jan 2018 He fears merger of their AI-based surveillance with that of states, leading to “a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined.”
  20. 20. 7th Jan 2016 13th Mar 2017 Microsoft researcher warns AI is “ripe for abuse” by authoritarian regimes “This is a fascist’s dream - power without accountability”: Kate Crawford
  21. 21. 7th Jan 2016 19th Jan 2017 The implications for jobs, and social cohesion: “We need a global convention on AI” “Last year, the robot was pouring beer and picking up a wooden block. This year, it knows how you are feeling through facial recognition software.”
  22. 22. 7th Jan 2016 17th Jul 2017 Elon Musk: regulate AI to combat “existential threat” before it's too late “By the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation.”
  23. 23. Elon Musk warns of prospect for “an immortal dictator from which we can never escape” 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 This in a documentary on AI and robotics out today, “Do You Trust This Computer?” Google’s DeepMind is a big step in this direction, he says. “If one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world,"
  24. 24. 7th Jan 2016 20th Aug 2017 Tesla’s Musk and Google’s Suleyman lead 116 AI specialists calling on UN for ban on killer robots “We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.” Open letter to UN A scene from Robocop. But…
  25. 25. 7th Jan 2016 14th April 2017 Russia’s deputy Prime Minister tweets video of FEDOR humanoid robot shooting guns Bloomberg NEF New Energy Outlook 2016 Dmitry Rogozin: “We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.”
  26. 26. “ and convenient assassination machines available to everybody with an axe to grind” 7th Jan 2016 28th Aug 2017 So Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT, co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, describes killer robots. As one of 10 reasons for a ban.
  27. 27. AI researcher Stuart Russell presents the film at an event at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva. AI researchers create terrifying fictional video to call for a ban on autonomous weapons at the UN 7th Jan 2016 1st Dec 2017 The CEO of a robotics company launches his killer drone Silicon Valley style
  28. 28. “South Korea to create ‘drone-bot combat unit’ to swarm North” 7th Jan 2016 6th Dec 2017 Initially for reconnaissance, the government says, but leaving open the option of later arming of drones for swarm attacks on troops.
  29. 29. “A Global Arms Race for Killer Robots Is Transforming Warfare” 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 Stuart Russell, professor of artificial intelligence at Berkeley: “We have an opportunity to prevent this, but the window to act is closing fast.”
  30. 30. Zuckerberg labels Musk’s concerns about AI and killer robots “pretty irresponsible” 7th Jan 2016 25 Jul 2017 “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I think people who are naysayers ….I just, I don’t understand it.”
  31. 31. “Our minds can be hijacked”: tech insiders warn that a smartphone dystopia threatens democracy 7th Jan 2016 5th Oct 2017 “It is very common for humans to develop things with the best of intentions that have unintended, negative consequences” Justin Rosenstein, creator of the Facebook 'like' button
  32. 32. Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: the site was from the outset “to exploit human vulnerability” 7th Jan 2016 9th Nov 2017 “God knows what it is doing to our childrens’ brains”, he now says: a network of 2 billion users has “unintended consequences.”
  33. 33. Former Facebook executive: social media is “ripping society apart” 7th Jan 2016 12th Dec 2017 Facebook’s VP for user growth until 2011, feels “tremendous guilt” about social media “destroying how society works.”
  34. 34. Apple CEO Tim Cook: “I don’t want my nephew on a social network” 7th Jan 2016 16th Jan 2018
  35. 35. Apple investors call for action over iPhone “addiction” among children 7th Jan 2016 8th Jan 2018 Owners of $2bn of stock including CalSTRS make a range of suggestions for controls, oversight, and access to data on use.
  36. 36. Former Google and Facebook workers launch campaign to fight tech addiction 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 Brainchild of the Center for Humane Technology, led by former Google designer Tristan Harris & former Facebook advisor Roger McNamee.
  37. 37. Bill Gates warns Silicon Valley of technology’s dangerous potential 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 “There’s always the question how much technology is empowering a small group of people to cause damage.”
  38. 38. Apple's Cook slams Zuckerberg and Facebook's business model, calling for regulation 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Apple could make a “ton of money” but “We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty.” “I wouldn’t be in his position”
  39. 39. He tells Alphabet shareholders of the “great inspiration” that also brings “new questions and responsibilities”, ….and quotes Charles Dickens. Google co-founder Sergey Brin joins AI concerns: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” 7th Jan 2016 28th Apr 2018
  40. 40. 7th Jan 2016 8th Jan 2017 Hundreds of AI / robotics researchers develop 23 principles for global use: the Asilomar Principles Principle 23 Common Good: Superintelligence should only be developed in the service of widely shared ethical ideals, and for the benefit of all humanity rather than one state or organization Principle 17 Non-subversion: The power conferred by control of highly advanced AI systems should respect and improve, rather than subvert, the social and civic processes on which the health of society depends.
  41. 41. But currently key major players seem to prefer all-out competition to multilateral co-operation
  42. 42. The search for a military edge is one driver. But both US and Chinese companies talk of new potential for open-source collaboration. “The AI arms race: China and US compete to dominate big data”: FT 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  43. 43. So the FT reports. China is vulnerable, spending more on imported silicon than oil, prompting a scramble to expand domestic chip supply. US-China tech wars threaten ‘economic carnage’ as US seeks to rein in growing power of Chinese tech 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  44. 44. “China Vows to Fight Trump Tariffs ‘to the End’ as Tension Rises” 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 Shares tumble as Trump considers a further $100bn of tariffs. If China played tit-for-tat, tariffs would be on all US exports to China.
  45. 45. Democracy is now clearly under threat from use of tech, in multiple countries And so far, we have allowed this to unfold with few effective challenges
  46. 46. 7th Jan 2016 26th Dec 2016 “2016: The Mainstream Media Melted Down as Fake News Festered” By August fake news was increasingly outperforming the top stories at the 19 major news outlets
  47. 47. 7th Jan 2016 14th Feb 2017 “The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine”: How Cambridge Analytica wins elections • Big data surveillance meets computational pyschology • Automated engagement scripts that prey on your emotions • A propaganda network to accelerate ideas in minutes • A bot Gestapo to police public debate One of the first post-election investigations of fake news by journalists, for Scout, leads to a worrying conclusion about threats to democracy.
  48. 48. 7th Jan 2016 16th Feb 2017 “Mark Zuckerberg’s Answer to a World Divided by Facebook Is More Facebook” “He might be in denial, because a lot of the rest of us are”: Nikki Usher, Professor of new media and technology, George Washington University
  49. 49. Mark Zuckerberg: I regret ridiculing fears over Facebook's effect on the election 7th Jan 2016 28th Sep 2017 Company admits to $100k in ad revenue from Russia-based organisation promoting racial divisions favouring Trump. 14th Nov 2016
  50. 50. Facebook and Google spead politicized fake news about Las Vegas shooter 7th Jan 2016 2nd Oct 2017 Within hours of the worst massacre in US history, alt-right users create a false viral rumour that the perpetrator is an anti-Trump Democrat.
  51. 51. Trump digital director Brad Parscale tells CBS 60 Minutes that Facebook helped win the White House 7th Jan 2016 9th Oct 2017 Facebook provided employees embedded in the Trump campaign’s digital office to teach use of ads to reach rust belt target voters.
  52. 52. “Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened” 7th Jan 2016 19th Oct 2017 Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO: “Especially, and very troubling, foreign interference in a democratic election.”
  53. 53. US Congress releases ads paid for by Russian agents and seen by 150 million Americans 7th Jan 2016 1st Nov 2017 They include these:
  54. 54. Facebook's fact checkers say the effort is failing, and worse, their efforts are being used for PR 7th Jan 2016 13th Nov 2017 Guardian: “The reporters also lamented that Facebook had refused to disclose data on its efforts to stop the dissemination of fake news.”
  55. 55. Facebook must drop its silence on Russian interference in UK as well as US, say MPs 7th Jan 2016 16th Nov 2017 Facebook breaking its silence on Russian interference in the US election ….on the eve of Congressional hearings, 22 September 2017.
  56. 56. Mark Zuckerberg has a “rat-catching” team to keep a lid on leakers, even of internal cultural discussions 7th Jan 2016 16th Mar 2018 An employee tells the Guardian about these “secret police”: “It’s horrifying how much they know ….they’ll squash you like a bug”.
  57. 57. 50m Facebook profiles harvested unlawfully by Cambridge Analytica, whistleblower tells Guardian 7th Jan 2016 17th Mar 2018 Christopher Wylie says Steve Bannon used CA for “microtargeted” FB ads during Trump campaign. CA CEO lied to UK MPs about FB data use.
  58. 58. Christopher Wylie explains formative role in creating a “cultural weapon”, & how it was done 7th Jan 2016 17th Mar 2018 “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of profiles. And built models to exploit that and target their inner demons.”
  59. 59. Cambridge Analytica CEO captured selling tactics, beyond microtargeting, for swinging elections 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 Alexander Nix: “These are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”
  60. 60. Edward Snowden: Facebook is a surveillance company rebranded as social media 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 “They are not victims. They are accomplices.”
  61. 61. Second Cambridge Analytica whistleblower makes firm’s blueprint for Trump victory public 7th Jan 2016 23rd Mar 2018 Brittany Kaiser says CEO Nix lied about doing no work on Brexit data. That oil billionaires funded CA rigging of Nigerian election. And and.
  62. 62. Brexit: Third whistleblower says Vote Leave broke law on spending limits, and destroyed evidence. 7th Jan 2016 24th Mar 2018 They funneled £650k to Cambridge Analytica creation AIQ for dark arts ads. He gives files to the Electoral Commission and the police. Shahmir Sanni Secretary & Treasurer BeLeave
  63. 63. Facebook logged SMS texts and phone calls without explicitly notifying users 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 FB claims that “uploading this information has always been opt-in only.” But the Guardian finds it wasn’t, for a whole year, before 2016.
  64. 64. Facebook improperly shared data of 87m people with Cambridge Analytica, company now says 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 This is 37m more than reported earlier. It also admits that data of most of its 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly.
  65. 65. “Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook” 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 Zeynep Tufekci: “Facebook's CEO's constant apologies aren't a promise to do better. They're a symptom of a profound crisis of accountability.”
  66. 66. Facebook suspends data firm hired by Vote Leave over alleged Cambridge Analytica ties 7th Jan 2016 7th Apr 2018 FB says AggregateIQ “may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data.”
  67. 67. “Congress tried to crack Zuckerberg – but Facebook still has all the power” 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 “Zuckerberg may not want us to know where he slept last night, but his company sure as hell knows where the rest of us are sleeping.”
  68. 68. Zuckerberg evasive on tracking, browsing, profiling, & need to change business model to protect privacy 7th Jan 2016 11th Apr 2018 Congressman Frank Pallone: “Our laws are not working” …”we need “comprehensive privacy and data protection legislation.” Congresswoman reads long list of Zuckerberg’s apologies, starting in 2003, as evidence that self regulation can never work
  69. 69. Amanda Taub & Max Fisher on role of fake news: “Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing.” “Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match” 7th Jan 2016 21st Apr 2018 Buddhist mob burns a Muslim - owned shop in Sri Lanka, March 2018
  70. 70. In Congress, Zuckerberg dodged questions on whether he would apply GDPR to Americans, promising GDPR “controls” not “protections.” Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  71. 71. Aeisha Mastagni: “Who is it that holds Mr Zuckerberg to account?” One share should equal one vote. “Facebook, it is time to act like an adult.” “Facebook’s dual-class share structure is akin to a dictatorship”: Calstrs portfolio manager in the FT 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  72. 72. Schroepfer told MPs that targeted ads had not been used by Russian agencies. New evidence released by US Congress shows it was. Facebook mislead UK Parliament over Russian interference in Brexit vote, MPs say 7th Jan 2016 12th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO Mike Schroepfer, Facebook CTO
  73. 73. At least a dozen U.S.-designated terror groups use Facebook, Bloomberg discovers, and when banned soon reappear with slight modifications. “Terrorists Are Still Recruiting on Facebook, Despite Zuckerberg’s Reassurances” 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  74. 74. Facebook and Google share prices as yet unaffected by burgeoning concerns about disinformation 7th Jan 2016 27th Nov 2017 Zuckerberg warns in early November that the cost of defending against people manipulating the platform would hit profits. Result?
  75. 75. “What Hearings? Advertisers Still Love Facebook” 7th Jan 2016 13th Apr 2018 Ad agencies expect FB’s $40bn 2017 revenue to rise steeply and FB & Google to take >65% of all 2018 ad revenue. “Too big to fail,” says one.
  76. 76. Scientists find fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content on Twitter 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 Truth rarely reaches more than 1,000 people. The top 1% of false-news cascades reach up to 100,000 people. Real people disseminate > bots.
  77. 77. Twitter exec on Trump election: “We all had this ‘holy shit’ moment …Did we create this monster?” 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 It would still take months after the election for CEO Jack Dorsey to concede a responsibility to clean up the social media service.
  78. 78. Russia-based troll farm created pro-Trump Twitter star Jenna Abrams 7th Jan 2016 3rd Nov 2017
  79. 79. Uber had a special team to obstruct legal cases and spy on rivals, whistleblower tells court 7th Jan 2016 28th Nov 2017 “lacks ethics, morals and is obsessed with making money” Uber did not disclose allegations, or its payoff to silence them, in run up to Waymo vs Uber hearing, which judge has now deferred.
  80. 80. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Nov 2016 “5 Big Tech Trends That Will Make This Election Look Tame” By 2020, the next election: 1 Social media will have continued to explode 2 Machine learning/AI will move forward 10x 3 50 billion devices and 1 trillion sensors will come online 4 Digital avatars will be photorealistic & fully programmable 5 Micropayments, smart objects, and blockchain applications will go mainstream
  81. 81. All the above is current commercial practice in “surveillance capitalism”, and remains almost entirely unregulated today Meanwhile in cybercrime and cyberwar…
  82. 82. • One or more of the three US grids down for weeks or months “not just possible but likely” It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when: Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin 15th Nov 2015 • NSA says Russians and Chinese have conducted reconnaissance • US government unprepared
  83. 83. 7th Jan 2016 12th Aug 2016 The inevitable failure of the US grid • more blackouts than any other developed nation • average age of large power transformers (LPTs) is 40 years • $1.15 billion per year in upgrades, $150 losses from outages
  84. 84. Hackers shut down Ukraine power grid: Russian special forces accused by Kiev Malware used that had previously infected power suppliers in US and Europe, without shut down 5th Jan 2016
  85. 85. 7th Jan 2016 9th Nov 2016 “Trump’s win signals open season for Russia’s political hackers”
  86. 86. 7th Jan 2016 6th Jan 2017 CIA / NSA / FBI report: Vladimir Putin “ordered” operation to get Trump elected Declassified assessment says Russia “had clear preference” for Trump, who met with US intelligence chiefs & refused to endorse their findings.
  87. 87. 7th Jan 2016 11th Jun 2017 First solid evidence that Russian hacking threatens the core systems of America’s voting apparatus NSA leak shows they attempted to phish the credentials of employees at VR Systems, a Florida-based tech firm that sells equipment and software used in voting registration.
  88. 88. Russian hacking went far beyond US election, hitlist of 4,760 g-mail accounts reveals 7th Jan 2016 2nd Nov 2017 Breadth of players targeted in accidentally acquired list only makes sense if hackers are Kremlin connected. 95% of hacking took place in Moscow office hours.
  89. 89. Hackers take over safety system in “watershed” attack on undisclosed energy plant 7th Jan 2016 16th Dec 2017 Schneider Electric reports first breach of their safety systems, used in fossil-fuel and nuclear plants. Malware dubbed “Triton” used.
  90. 90. Three men in their early 20s plead guilty to causing a massive US cyber attack in October 7th Jan 2016 14th Dec 2017 They - not a foreign cybercrime agency - created the Mirai botnet that took hundreds of sites offline in a “distributed denial of service” attack.
  91. 91. Two hardware bugs, worst ever, found on virtually all computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 They are in chips for CPUs. “Meltdown” is patchable. “Spectre” is not. Class actions against Intel et al are pending. So is hacker exploitation.
  92. 92. Special counsel indicts Russians for illegally influencing the US presidential campaign 7th Jan 2016 16th Feb 2018 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian organizations join 4 former Trump aides on criminal charge sheet.
  93. 93. Eternal Blue, the NSA “spy tool that hacked the world”, still creates cyber havoc a year after its leak 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 Many networks and machines remain unpatched against it. It will be a go-to tool for attackers for years to come, cybersecurity experts say.
  94. 94. Cyberattacks have turned potential control of US power plants over to Russia, DHS reports 7th Jan 2016 15th Mar 2018 Russian cyberattacks surged last year, starting three months after Donald Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security says.
  95. 95. US agencies & UK’s GCHQ blame the Kremlin for a sustained cyber-offensive in recent months 7th Jan 2016 16th Apr 2018 “Millions of machines” targeted in apparent effort to lay foundations for an assault on network infrastructure devices, they say.
  96. 96. Use of drones is the biggest growing trend among criminals, including smuggling gangs, drug cartels, and in robberies. A criminal gang has used a drone swarm to obstruct and spy on an FBI hostage surveillance operation 7th Jan 2016 7th May 2018
  97. 97. We are building infrastructure perfect for lethal police states seemingly without much consideration
  98. 98. “Privacy is under threat from the facial recognition revolution” 7th Jan 2016 3rd Oct 2017 Editorial “If those who care about individual rights do not start thinking about the implications now, those changes will be forced upon us rather than chosen.”
  99. 99. Even a mask won’t hide you from the latest face recognition tech 7th Jan 2016 7th Sep 2017 The system accurately identified people a wearing scarf 77% of the time – a cap and scarf 69% of the time: University of Cambridge study.
  100. 100. AI can predict sexual orientation from photos of faces 7th Jan 2016 8th Sep 2017 Stanford University study of 35,000: 81% correct for men, 74% for women. 5 photos: 91% and 83%.
  101. 101. Face-reading AI will be able to detect your politics and IQ, Stanford professor Michal Kosinski says 7th Jan 2016 12th Sep 2017 Early results suggest this is the case. Kosinski suggests this is consistent with other studies that have shown political views to be heritable.
  102. 102. 7th Jan 2016 5th Sep 2016 Implications of revolutions in big data & bioscience: Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari ever more advanced algorithms + ever more targeted biometrics ever decreasing free will =
  103. 103. 7th Jan 2016 28th Jul 2017 The biggest facial recognition system in the world is rolling out in China ….and the most invasive use 600 million CCTV systems nationwide Officials aim to enroll every Chinese citizen into a nationwide database by 2020. A recently pioneered social credit system aims to give every citizen a rating.
  104. 104. 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jul 2017 Chinese companies are helping police develop AI intending to identify criminals before they act Li Meng, vice-minister of science and technology: If we use AI, “we can know beforehand . . . who might be a terrorist, who might do something bad.”
  105. 105. The world's most valuable AI startup targets nationwide facial recognition 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 Co-founder of China’s $3 bn SenseTime Group Xu Li: “It will not affect privacy because only authorized persons can access it.”
  106. 106. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Feb 2017 China has deployed robots for facial recognition at an airport and a railway station The AnBot, developed by the National Defence University, can answer travellers’ questions ….while monitoring them. And is popular….
  107. 107. In the government-backed project, artificial intelligence algorithms scan the data for outliers that could indicate anxiety or rage. Chinese companies conduct ‘emotional surveillance’ of workers via hat or helmet sensors 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  108. 108. They blame poor quality source images and say the technology will improve with use. Chinese citizens will have to hope so. Welsh police used face scanning software that incorrectly flagged >2,000 as criminals 7th Jan 2016 5th May 2018
  109. 109. “It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone's Location With Mobile Ads” 7th Jan 2016 18th Oct 2017 Univ. of Washington study: “Mobile advertising networks’ intentional tracking features allow relatively cheap, highly targeted spying.”
  110. 110. Meanwhile, forces are on the rise in society that we know from history stoke fascism
  111. 111. Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jan 2018 Oxfam survey of 70,000 in 10 countries shows nearly two-thirds of people – 72% in the UK – want urgent action to close rich / poor gap.
  112. 112. 7th Jan 2016 16th Dec 2016 The bottom half of US earners have seen no income growth since the 1970s
  113. 113. America’s richest 3 have as much wealth as the poorer half of the population …160 m people 7th Jan 2016 8th Nov 2017 Multinational companies shift ever more profits offshore: €600bn in the last year A combined $248.5 billion ….and Trump’s tax cuts for the rich would channel 80% of benefits to 1%
  114. 114. Echoes of history here: in 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. >1,000 economists warn Trump his trade views echo errors that led to the 1930s Great Depression 7th Jan 2016 2nd May 2018
  115. 115. All this just as authoritarian governments, and authoritarian-leaning elected governments, gain strength, and in some cases ascendancy
  116. 116. "How the Populist Right Is Redrawing the Map of Europe" 7th Jan 2016 11th Dec 2017 “A rising tide of anti-immigrant and populist sentiment that is sweeping aside or weakening mainstream party politics across the continent.”
  117. 117. Russia and Syria are “weaponising the refugee crisis” in an effort to destabilise Europe 2nd Mar 2016 2nd Mar 2016 3rd Mar 2016 So General Phil Breedlove, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and head of the US European Command, testifies.
  118. 118. 7th Jan 2016 9th Nov 2016 The Syrian and Russian despots have ready allies: ultra-nationalist hate-mongers, in many countries
  119. 119. 7th Jan 2016 10th June 2016 Vote Leave's £350m weekly EU cost claim is wrong, UK Statistics Authority says. But with no follow up, Leave keep repeating the mantra. Populists seem to have embraced the use of wilful falsehoods, even after expert correction
  120. 120. 7th Jan 2016 24th June 2016 “Probably the most disastrous single event in British history since the second world war”: Martin Wolf
  121. 121. 4 November 2016 7th Jan 2016 4th Nov 2016 As UK judges rule on legality of Brexit vote, ultra- right controllers of mainstream media turn on them
  122. 122. 7th Jan 2016 17th Oct 2016 UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules The Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules UK security services have violated European Convention on Human Rights- under Tories & Labour.
  123. 123. 7th Jan 2016 19th Nov 2016 “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy” The Investigatory Powers Act passes, barely noticed, including by MPs. “It goes further than many autocracies”, says Ed Snowden.
  124. 124. 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2017 Draconian new proposals by UK government advisors “threaten democracy”: Guardian Up to 14 years for whistleblowers, and journalists for even handling their leaked material. Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian at the time of the Snowden files, could have faced jail
  125. 125. UK spy agencies unlawfully shared citizens’ data with foreign agencies, tribunal told 7th Jan 2016 18th Oct 2017 GCHQThis data is supposed to be subject to stringent oversight by independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office.
  126. 126. 7th Jan 2016 20th Dec 2016 Trump the demagogue could easily morph to Trump the despot: Martin Wolf “The demagogue’s campaign leads naturally to despotism — the tyranny of the majority that is a mask on the tyranny of one.”
  127. 127. 7th Jan 2016 12th Aug 2017 A new dimension in American politics emerges in Charlottesville “an unconstitutional fishing expedition” Electronic Frontier Foundation
  128. 128. alt-right violently protests removal of a Confederate statue, and one kills a civil rights activist 7th Jan 2016 12th Aug 2017 15th Aug: President Trump refuses to attack the alt-right and spars with reporters about what he terms the “violent alt-left”.
  129. 129. 7th Jan 2016 15th Aug 2017 US DoJ demands details on all 1.3 million visitors to site co-ordinating protest at Trump inauguration “an unconstitutional fishing expedition” Electronic Frontier Foundation
  130. 130. US Homeland Security to compile database for monitoring of journalists and ‘media influencers’ 7th Jan 2016 7th Apr 2018 “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalist, editors, ….social media influencers, bloggers etc.”
  131. 131. Orban immediately targets Soros-backed NGOs after huge populist win in Hungarian election 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 OECD describes campaign as “intimidating, xenophobic”. In his previous term, Hungary’s corruption rating plunged to second worst in EU.
  132. 132. The election hate campaign now leads to “Stop Soros” legislation that requires NGOs to have a government licence to represent refugees. Hungarian government repression forces Soros Open Society Foundations to retreat to Berlin 7th Jan 2016 15th May 2018 Future Today
  133. 133. Vietnam army reveals 10,000-strong cyber warfare unit to counter “wrong” views 7th Jan 2016 28th Dec 2017 A 22-year-old blogger was jailed for 7 years recently for “spreading anti- state propaganda” about a devastating chemical waste spill.
  134. 134. Amid all this chaos, the danger of nuclear war builds
  135. 135. US plans to loosen constraints on nuclear weapon use and develop more ‘usable’ warheads 7th Jan 2016 9th Jan 2018 Leak of policy review shows return to the first-strike thinking of the Reagan years (the SDI, the “maritime strategy” etc).
  136. 136. “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” 7th Jan 2016 2nd Jan 2018 Trump on Twitter, responding to Kim Jong Un mentioning in a new year speech that the North Korean button was on his desk at all times
  137. 137. Russia to deploy ‘unstoppable’ nuclear weapons says Putin 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 “Avangard” ICBM flying 20x the speed of sound, hypersonic air-launched “Dagger” missile, plus long-range torpedo & cruise missiles.
  138. 138. US trade spokesperson: “Greater access to American arms will ..reduce their reliance not just on Chinese knock-offs but also Russian systems.” Trump permits US weapons companies to sell laser- guided killer drones direct to other countries 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  139. 139. The Economist: The NPT, INF, and START (due for renewal 2021) treaties are all under threat, thanks to “complacent, reckless” leaders. “Despite North Korea, arms control is unravelling” “a complacent world is playing with Armageddon” 7th Jan 2016 2nd May 2018
  140. 140. France, Germany and UK express their “regret and concern” and emphasise their “continuing commitment” to the deal. Trump violates the Iran nuclear agreement, imperiling the global non-proliferation regime 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  141. 141. Remembering the Cold War, it wasn’t simply the Russians on offence and the West on defence (e.g. The “Bomber Gap” and the Missile Gap” proved to be inventions designed to justify new weapons for the western military-industrial complex Might the UK and UK therefore be doing anything similar this time?
  142. 142. US Air Force posts a video on You tube about its cyber training: “The Making of a Cyberwarrior” 7th Jan 2016 16th Apr 2013 “They are fighting a war every day on the wire’, says one officer. The video does not make it look as if this is purely a defensive war.
  143. 143. 7th Jan 2016 2nd Nov 2016 British government pledges to “damage, disrupt and destroy” cyberattackers - including proactively Attacking tools being developed by the National Offensive Cyber Programme, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ. Philip Hammond, Defence Minister, in a speech
  144. 144. As in the Cold War, some speak out: we need a global cyberwar treaty, says a former head of GCHQ 7th Jan 2016 21st Feb 2018 Richard Hannigan: “I think the worrying thing is that international relations at the moment mean that people don't feel constrained.”
  145. 145. As for Russian arms buildup, cyber aggression and proxy warfighting, much could be achieved by pressuring Russian capital from / in the West ….but
  146. 146. “Russia and the west’s moral bankruptcy” 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Edward Luce: Unlike most western democracies, the US and UK permit anonymous ownership. Annual laundering: c.$300bn in US, $125bn UK. “Estimates of Mr Putin’s personal wealth range from $50bn to $200bn”
  147. 147. The corrupt hide billions in shell companies. US & UK Beneficial Ownership Registries could stop them 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 So suggest Panama Paper journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. The registries would show “ultimate beneficial owners.”
  148. 148. Some actors in civil society are trying to step up to the challenge
  149. 149. AI experts call for boycott over killer robots project teaming a South Korea university with Hanwha 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 A UN meeting on autonomous weapons convenes in Geneva next week. > 20 countries have already called for a total ban on killer robots. The technology to make killer robots is already here
  150. 150. AI experts call for boycott over killer robots project teaming a South Korea university with Hanwha 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 A UN meeting on autonomous weapons convenes in Geneva next week. > 20 countries have already called for a total ban on killer robots. The technology to make killer robots is already here
  151. 151. Governments meet in Geneva to consider global ban on killer robots, with an arms race underway 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 At least 381 partly autonomous weapon & military robotics systems are deployed or in development in 12 states, incl. US, Russia, China, UK.
  152. 152. China joins 34 other nations pushing for a total ban on killer robots at the UN 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 The US, the UK, France, Israel and Russia oppose a ban. The UN meeting ends without agreement.
  153. 153. “Only the EU can break Facebook and Google's dominance”: George Soros 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 Reasons: “more far sighted” social policies, stronger privacy & data protection laws, tighter monopoly laws, “no problem giants” of its own. Margrethe Vestager EU Competition Commissioner
  154. 154. Tech sector struggles to prepare for new EU data protection laws 7th Jan 2016 30th Aug 2017 Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT co-founder of the Future of Life InstituteGeneral Data Protection Regulation comes into force 26th May 2018
  155. 155. Facebook ordered to stop collecting user data by Belgian court, or face fines of up to €100m 7th Jan 2016 16th Feb 2018 A battle which began in 2015, with evidence Facebook’s tracking of all visitors without explicit consent used cookies breaching EU law.
  156. 156. “It is time for antitrust regulators to start blocking deals” 7th Jan 2016 27th Oct 2017 But: “We are a long way from having reason to break up the tech giants” Editorial $19 bn
  157. 157. Global financial regulators (FSB) urge caution over rise of AI and robots in financial services industry 7th Jan 2016 1st Nov 2017
  158. 158. Following a crowdfunded challenge by Liberty, the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act, (the Snoopers’ Charter) must be rewritten within 6 months. High court rules the UK government mass data surveillance legislation is incompatible with EU law 7th Jan 2016 27th Apr 2018 Liberty director, Martha Spurrier: “Police and security agencies need tools to tackle serious crime in the digital age, but creating the most intrusive surveillance regime of any democracy in the world is unlawful, unnecessary and ineffective.”
  159. 159. Berkeley and Davis have laws requiring citizen oversight of surveillance technology use and Oakland has a bill pending. California laws seek to keep smart city surveillance tech in check, especially re who accesses data 7th Jan 2016 7th May 2018
  160. 160. UK and US lawyers launch a joint class action against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 US Stored Communications Act involves a minimum $1,000 penalty for any violation found by a court, meaning FB could face $70bn damages.
  161. 161. “Unilever warns Big Tech to drain online ads ‘swamp’” 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2018 “As one of the largest advertisers in the world, we cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online.” Keith Weed, CMO Who had a €7.7 bn budget in 2017 …world’s second biggest
  162. 162. 7th Jan 2016 1st Feb 2017 Siemens CEO criticises Trump “noise”, attacks on the press, and Mexican wall Joe Kaeser: “America has become great because of immigrants” Siemens employs more than 50,000 people in the US, and has invested more than €30bn there over the past 10 years
  163. 163. Vince Cable: Facebook should divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for EU operation, creating 2 new social media networks. Former UK Secretary of State for Business calls for break-up of Google, Facebook and Amazon 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  164. 164. Join fight against “titans of technology”, UK union chief urges Catholics in a speech in the Vatican 7th Jan 2016 24th Nov 2017 “lacks ethics, morals and is obsessed with making money” Frances O’Grady General Secretary UK Trades Unions Congress
  165. 165. Polemic takes aim at surveillance capitalism and absence of its regulation 7th Jan 2016 12th Oct 2017 “Their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy… few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat” “Sophia” National correspondent, The Atlantic Needed: A Data Protection Authority to regulate use of data cf Federal Communications Commission and the airwaves
  166. 166. American tech guru Vivek Wadhwa likens Silicon Valley to the colonial British East India Company 7th Jan 2016 16th Nov 2017 “lacks ethics, morals and is obsessed with making money” “India should put restrictions as regulations on Facebook, Google and others. Put up barriers. Regulate the heck out of Amazon. Have a policy to support local startups. India has to build its own ecosystem.”
  167. 167. Big Tech itself holds the power to reduce the threats and unlock the social potential of the upside scenarios for tech
  168. 168. Tech companies own a trillion-dollar offshore “cash pile” that is actually a giant bond portfolio 7th Jan 2016 11th Feb 2018 10 companies hold 80% of this. They are “the new investment banks”, using their own low-interest debt to buy high yield corporate debt. Rana Foroohar in the Financial Times
  169. 169. 7th Jan 2016 31st Jan 2017 “Google Employees Rally in Thousands Against Trump Immigration Ban”
  170. 170. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2017 100 Silicon Valley firms file opposition to Trump's exec order banning travel from 7 Muslim countries including:
  171. 171. 7th Jan 2016 16th Aug 2017 Apple pledges to double employees’ donations to anti-hate human rights organisations “We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it”: Tim Cook, CEO.
  172. 172. 7th Jan 2016 16th Aug 2017 Tech giants denounce and expel neo-Nazis
  173. 173. 7th Jan 2016 19th Aug 2017 “The moral voice of corporate America” FLNG vessel Prelude Length 488 metres “This is a seminal moment in the history of business in America” Darren Walker, President Ford Foundation “Today, to keep silent is to jeopardize the reputation of the company.’ Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School
  174. 174. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war”: so say > 3,000 Google employees 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 An open letter to CEO, in the New York Times, urges the company not to work on a Pentagon ‘AI surveillance engine’ used for drone warfare.
  175. 175. “Amid growing fears of biased and weaponized AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust. By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon and General Dynamics. The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google. Google’s unique history, its motto “don’t be evil”, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart.”
  176. 176. Trying to conclude: Tech: nirvana or nightmare what do you think? …as things stand?
  177. 177. - far closer to nightmare than nirvana - we have to act, far more strongly, across the board - many actors / constituencies are beginning to do so - how best to do so is another story - please engage, and follow on My view