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Virtual Futures Salon: Radical Technologies, with Adam Greenfield

I am pro­found­ly envi­ous of peo­ple who get to write about set­tled domains or sort of set­tled states of affairs in human events. For me, I was deal­ing with a set of tech­nolo­gies which are either recent­ly emerged or still in the process of emerg­ing. And so it was a con­tin­u­al Red Queen’s race to keep up with these things as they announce them­selves to us and try and wrap my head around them, under­stand what it was that they were propos­ing, under­stand what their effects were when deployed in the world.

Sleepwalking into Surveillant Capitalism, Sliding into Authoritarianism

We have increas­ing­ly smart, sur­veil­lant per­sua­sion archi­tec­tures. Architectures aimed at per­suad­ing us to do some­thing. At the moment it’s click­ing on an ad. And that seems like a waste. We’re just click­ing on an ad. You know. It’s kind of a waste of our ener­gy. But increas­ing­ly it is going to be per­suad­ing us to sup­port some­thing, to think of some­thing, to imag­ine some­thing.

Verifying and Validating Machine Intelligence

We’ve been build­ing autonomous vehi­cles for about twenty-five years, and now that the tech­nol­o­gy has become adopt­ed much more broad­ly and is on the brink of being deployed, our earnest fac­ul­ty who’ve been look­ing at it are now real­ly inter­est­ed in ques­tions like, a car sud­den­ly real­izes an emer­gency, an ani­mal has just jumped out at it. There’s going to be a crash in one sec­ond from now. Human ner­vous sys­tem can’t deal with that fast enough. What should the car do?