Friday, September 13, 2019

Promise and Uncertainty With AI

"Artificial Intelligence" or AI, as it's more commonly referred to, and its use in societies around the world is raising some interesting questions but the biggest of those relate to safety, privacy, and the potential for abuse of that technology by individuals, organizations, and anti-democratic governmental entities.

Anyone who has been following the issues in Hong Kong of late, as well as watching the documentaries related to Mainland China, North Korea, and Iran, know that the technology is already being abused. More reports are coming out of China, especially, with respect to how facial recognition is being used in China to determine the social fitness of its citizens based upon a variety of factors. The intention is to issue them scores that would then determine their fitness to get loans, rent or buy homes, make purchases, travel within and outside of their country, and qualify for services. Their goal is the tracking all people - not merely data collection of criminal participants for the purposes of evidence collection. In China, there are assertions that the collected data is also being used target those considered political dissidents or religious advocates.

America's people value their privacy and freedoms tremendously and while we like seeing our technological innovators at work and we enjoy the use of cell phones, WiFi, and many other things, we don't want to see those same abuses of technology here on U.S. soil. It violates the individual fundamental and God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, in the broadest definition of those ideals. But AI is in use around the globe. You have to ask yourself, is it in use where you live, too? And what controls are in place to ensure it is not misused?

Individuals around the world need to be aware of the progress in AI, and keep a healthy balance of skepticism and interest. They should never be afraid to say no to the adoption of some of that technology if they feel it intrudes too much in their lives. AI must be used responsibly, and we must keep in mind that it is not the answer to everything.

In recent weeks, the people of Hong Kong took a stand against technology. Hong Kong protesters, fearing the widespread use of cameras in their region would put them at risk of arrest and imprisonment as political dissidents took the bold step of tearing down the "smart lampposts" put in place by the CCP controlled government, and then removed the technology inside that allowed for surveillance. They felt compelled to limit the Mainland government's ability to spy on them at will. They are now battling in real life what citizens worldwide may be faced with down the road if we do not control the AI before it takes control of every aspect of our life.

Technology can be good, and it can serve mankind well. But in the hands of those who have no respect for others' individual basic human rights, dignity, and right to expression, and privacy, AI is a dangerous tree of technology fruit ripe for abuse and misuse.