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.
Machine learning systems that we have today have become so powerful and are being introduced into everything from self-driving cars, to predictive policing, to assisting judges, to producing your news feed on Facebook on what you ought to see. And they have a lot of societal impacts. But they’re very difficult to audit.
The smartphone is the ultimate example of a universal computer. Apps transform the phone into different devices. Unfortunately, the computational revolution has done little for the sustainability of our Earth. Yet, sustainability problems are unique in scale and complexity, often involving significant computational challenges.