Big Data is Watching You

Context: AI Will Hack Our Brains, Expert Says

Can we shape the use, value and utility of Big Data and AI in ways which benefit humanity? I am not entirely pessimistic but pragmatic realism invokes both caution and trepidation here.

Ethics. A definition of “good use of data” is subject to considerable ethical uncertainty and partisan difference regarding implementation or direction. Such uncertainties commonly devolve into uninformed bluster versus the tower of apologetic caveats that corporations and institutions must (and do) construct in order to enter the games and grammars of ethics and professed good intentions.

Surveillance. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The recursion is quite real when we consider regulation of control and surveillance. That which percolates through complex tesseracts of surveillance has never once been asserted or designed with sufficient perspicacity as to not aggregate power in privileged nodal artefacts, entities and systems.

Concentration. Complex technological and economic systems quite naturally orient themselves in ways which tend to drift into few rather than many gravitational centers. I agree this is important to counter but the kinds of social, economic and political systems that inhabit this technological moment are such as to bias all future arcs and developmental trajectories towards their own optimal self-propagation.

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