Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES: WHO DRIVES THE UNIVERSE?
The universe is held by chains of formats; at the edge of each joint are princes, power, and authorities that hold these broad and complicated chains. No individual has absolute control of all these joints. In recent times, disruptive technologies have continued to alter how things are done traditionally across the board. What these emerging technologies are out to achieve is a form of unified intelligence i.e. a common understanding of all things and people alike through algorithms of their behaviors. One can simply infer that global intelligence is being synchronized and might eventually lie in the hands of an individual or a people.
Things indeed speak, people speak, situations speak, in fact, anything you can think about speaks. It is also true that what people and things say can be influenced. Once the authority lies in the hand of an individual or a people, the languages of things and people can be influenced towards a preconceived direction. One way this can be done is through a design strategy known as a persuasive architecture or design which according to Zeynep Tufekci is described as a deliberate design of a place or a thing to influence the decisions of the users. In the digital ecosystem, however, persuasion architecture can be built to the scale of billions and they can target, infer, understand and be deployed at individuals by figuring individual strengths or more relevantly weaknesses. Imagine this being the basis of what artificial intelligence (AI) can do.
The wisdom of man is limited but a unified understanding of all creations might be more disastrous than we can imagine especially if in the hands of an individual. I can sense a universal power tussle on its ways, how soon I do not know.
The questions, however, should be, how is this possible, by what means and to what end? One major way is a form of make-believe system in an attempt to influence the understanding and buying behavior of customers with persuasive messages about products, services or more brutally, politics which has recently been added to the long list of services being sold on the internet. Human wants are generally insatiable (and because of our infinite capacity for more) we are perpetually glued to our mobile devices ‘socializing’, giving access to all kinds of influence in any direction while other aspects of the human life deteriorate.
In the real sense, the fullness of man demands mindfulness, of self, of others, and all created things; knowing them, understanding them, and more importantly, sustaining them. Unfortunately, we are in a smart world with digital minds deprived of a thorough understanding of things having left serious learning in the hands of machines. Machines are now in charge of understanding man and things alike, while man’s mind idles with no substantial understanding of himself nor his environment. Understanding as it is now is mostly possible through the internet; social media (Internet of man and his society), Internet of things (IoT), and other complimenting technologies such as big data, cloud computing, blockchains, robotics, machine learning, among others, and recently the cause of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, the 5G connectivity technology. With the 5G tech in place, the actions of man will be as fast as his thought which means, there would be no place for second thought thereby creating a generation that leaves nothing to their imagination, the action generation.
Are these emerging and disruptive technologies bad on their own? No, nothing on its own is bad but the use in which it’s being put to can be worse. Technology is a solution, there are many fantastic things that it’s currently being put into. I can categorically say the world has never been this easy, some even claimed heaven is now on earth and indisputably, disruptive technologies are here to stay.
Having said all these, what can be done to ameliorate the negative impacts of emerging technologies and how? Firstly, the whole of digital technology design and operations must be checked and regulated (nationally, regionally and international) to be more user conscious; promotes ingenuity of a people, ensures privacy and adequate security. Secondly, the formulation of IT design goals, design process, and development must be humanistic (as implied in the society 5.0 agenda) and, sustainable. Lastly, policies and legislations on digital technology need to pay adequate and deliberate attention to privacy, cyber-security principles, and also importantly to fair business dealings and practice especially in investment, customer dispute, and resolution processes. There is no simple way out now but importantly, discourse on possible solutions must allow for transparency, support human values and integrity and, control indiscriminate data collection and utilization. The designs must put human beings in charge and control of the functionalities of all technology.
In a deeper sense, we on our side must be more responsible since with more power comes great responsibilities and be in control of our ever-increasing thirst for more, especially in terms of materialism, consumerism, and avarice that define this century which has systematically made us the object of trade in a hyper-dynamic digitalized world.