Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Monday, November 10, 2008

Artificial Intelligence and Privacy

Suarez's book Daemon has been mentioned before on Dreaming5GW. Here is a long speech on how ubiquitous AI is and how AI impacts on privacy. 

Related News: From the Economist 'Data mining and the state'.

2 comments: said...

Very interesting. I went to the main site and watched the whole presentation. Impression:

The author, Dan Suarez, did not give a very good presentation, although I think this was in part due to time constraints. Maybe he assumed his audience would be familiar with some of the ideas he presented (although judging by audience questions, they seemed no more familiar than I was.) He skimmed major sections, threw out data, terminology, and major concepts without really tying the whole mess together.

I should also say, that as a student of Montaigne I am finding, in reflection, that Suarez assumes an inordinate amount of decision-making prowess for a pre-bot society. That is a hoot, actually. Since his "warning" 1) is founded upon an assumption that ubiquitous AI botting threatens our ability to be in control and able to make decisions about our society and ourselves in society, and 2) given that he appears to believe in a "golden age" pre-dating our modern bot-infested environment, much of what he had to say fell flat for me.

I was, however, very interested by his considerations concerning online games, particularly World of Warcraft which I've been playing heavily for nearly a year now. It's not that Suarez is "wrong" in the things he says, or even in his warnings; but he seems to only be able to gloss his subject in a "superstitious" way -- funny given his own warnings/allusions about people falling to belief in superstition. That is, I can imagine someone in the future digging up this presentation and saying, "Even back then, some people seemed to have begun to suspect the shape our present world would take, if only in a very few particulars."

arherring said...

I found it very interesting, although in many ways I agree with Curtis, the jargon and roundabout explinations detracted from the import of the implications and possibilities of bot-driven systems.

To me, the most important point of Daemon and Suarez's vision of bot-mediated reality (what I found so exciting about the book in the first place) is that it is a mechanisim for creating an organization that is pervasive, subtle, stealthy and able to be administered by very few actors, yet in the book and in the speech this was virtually uninformed by any specific doctrine for the application of that mechanisim. I saw 5GW as a natural fit.