Category Archives: surveillance

What Nietzsche can teach us about embracing risk and failure in an age of technological comforts

Safety through technology is certainly not a bad thing. But the need for safety can become pathological. Friedrich Nietzsche’s basic premise is that failure is an option. It is woven tightly into a life worth living. It is time for a personal inventory: Which of our devices and practices enable a life that experiences the world in ways and places not always engineered for our comfort?

https://bigthink.com/thinking/nietzsche-failure-comfort/

How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling previously infeasible capabilities, potentially destabilizing the delicate balances that have forestalled nuclear war since 1945. Will these developments upset the nuclear strategic balance, and, if so, for better or for worse? To start to address this question, RAND researchers held a series of workshops that were attended by prominent experts on AI and nuclear security. The workshops examined the impact of advanced computing on nuclear security through 2040. The culmination of those workshops, this Perspective — one of a series that examines critical security challenges in 2040 — places the intersection of AI and nuclear war in historical context and characterizes the range of expert opinions. It then describes the types of anticipated concerns and benefits through two illustrative examples: AI for detection and for tracking and targeting and AI as a trusted adviser in escalation decisions. In view of the capabilities that AI may be expected to enable and how adversaries may perceive them, AI has the potential to exacerbate emerging challenges to nuclear strategic stability by the year 2040 even with only modest rates of technical progress. Thus, it is important to understand how this might happen and to assure that it does not.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

More than half the world’s millennials fear a nuclear attack this decade

The International Committee of the Red Cross, a worldwide humanitarian organization, surveyed 16,000 millennials — adults between the ages of 20 and 35 — in 16 countries and territories last year: Afghanistan, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States.

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/20/21070621/millennials-survey-nuclear-world-war-3-red-cross

Data from wearable devices are changing disease surveillance and medical research

The ability to examine lots of human bodies as they go about their daily lives is also changing how clinical studies of new drugs are done. According to iqvia, a research firm, 10% of late-stage clinical trials in 2020 used connected devices to monitor people, up from 3% in 2016. A catalogue by the Digital Medicine Society, an American organisation, lists more than 300 examples of digital biomarkers that are used in trials.

https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2022/05/01/data-from-wearable-devices-are-changing-disease-surveillance-and-medical-research

This bird-shaped monitor drops dead when your indoor air is bad

Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, where the air can be 5 to 10 times more polluted than the worst outdoor air. Bad indoor air, including high levels of CO2, has been linked with fatigue, headaches, and even respiratory diseases, all of which could be alleviated by airing out your home. That’s why two designers created Canairi: a minimalist monitor that nudges you to open the window without using blinking lights, warning sounds, or phone notifications. And no, there’s no app; just simple, intuitive design.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90747448/this-bird-shaped-monitor-drops-dead-when-your-indoor-air-is-bad

Risk, Uncertainty and Innovation

The past several decades have seen the introduction of a number of disruptive technologies into warfare, including some whose effects are so extensive that they can be considered their own domains, such as cyber– and cognitive warfare. Meanwhile, new technologies continue to emerge, ones which, as a recent article in NATO Review notes, “are already beginning to turn speculative fiction into reality.”

https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2022/04/14/risk-uncertainty-and-innovation/index.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty&utm_content=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty+CID_f1dc0a7bf310799e44a2254eeb3f8e34&

What the metaverse might mean for kids

And not fully understanding the difference between a virtual world and real life can have darker consequences as well. Graber says that playing a game in which you’re attacked with a gun or knife can feel more intense to a child than an adult. And metaverse worlds could expose children to bullies or even pedophiles in new, scary ways.

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/family/2022/02/what-the-metaverse-might-mean-for-kids

The Case of the Creepy Algorithm That ‘Predicted’ Teen Pregnancy

PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION: SAM WHITNEY; GETTY IMAGES

The system was based on data—including age, ethnicity, country of origin, disability, and whether the subject’s home had hot water in the bathroom—from 200,000 residents in the city of Salta, including 12,000 women and girls between the ages of 10 and 19. Though there is no official documentation, from reviewing media articles and two technical reviews, we know that “territorial agents” visited the houses of the girls and women in question, asked survey questions, took photos, and recorded GPS locations. What did those subjected to this intimate surveillance have in common? They were poor, some were migrants from Bolivia and other countries in South America, and others were from Indigenous Wichí, Qulla, and Guaraní communities.

https://www.wired.com/story/argentina-algorithms-pregnancy-prediction/

While Salta’s AI system to “predict pregnancy” was hailed as futuristic, it can only be understood in light of this long history, particularly, in Miranda’s words, the persistent eugenic impulse that always “contains a reference to the future” and assumes that reproduction “should be managed by the powerful.”

Fake faces created by AI look more trustworthy than real people


Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2308312-fake-faces-created-by-ai-look-more-trustworthy-than-real-people/#ixzz7LAFheaIq

“We need stricter ethical guidelines and more legal frameworks in place because, inevitably, there are going to be people out there who want to use [these images] to do harm, and that’s worrying,” – Dr. Sophie Nightingale, Lancaster University

AI Creates Photorealistic Portraits of Cartoon Characters

https://kottke.org/22/02/ai-creates-photorealistic-portraits-of-cartoon-characters

The coming war on the hidden algorithms that trap people in poverty

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/12/04/1013068/algorithms-create-a-poverty-trap-lawyers-fight-back/

A growing group of lawyers are uncovering, navigating, and fighting the automated systems that deny the poor housing, jobs, and basic services.