Total surveillance should worry us more than an AI news writing machine

From me at Mind Matters:

The Machine can know a great deal about us if we heedlessly generate a mass of information that can be is gathered, stored, and used for purposes of which we might have no idea. Does your phone know everything now? At present, you can shut the phone out of much of the loop if you take steps to do so.
Because so much surveillance is now possible, the new AI technologies that promised freedom are becoming a threat to it. It’s well known that the Chinese government is using AI to monitor and police the daily lives of citizens.
What’s less well-known is that China is exporting the technology for mass surveillance to developing countries as foreign aid. Or that Canada recently demanded intimate banking data from half a million citizens. It’s probably quite easy for governments to convince themselves that they could solve a lot more of everyone’s problems if they just knew what we are all doing all the time. More.

Reality check: Most claimed AI dangers are fake news, aimed at getting us to obsess about wicked, scheming robots when the real problem is that our phones are sending data about us back to people who are going to use it to try to manipulate us.

See also: Top Ten AI hypes of 2018


It’s 2019. Begin the hype cycle again!