Forget Trick or Treat, Here are 5 Horrifying Technologies that Should Really Scare You!
Recent developments in AI have transformed our view of the future, and from certain angles, it doesn’t look pretty. Are we facing total annihilation? Slavery and subjugation? Or could a manmade super-intelligence save us from ourselves? You know, I remember the good old days when all you had to worry about at Halloween was how to stop a gang of sugar-crazed 8 year-olds throwing eggs at your house. Not any more. Here are 5 emerging technologies that are bound to give you the creeps: 1. Quantum Supremacy Perhaps the biggest tech news of 2019 came last month when Google announced “by mistake” cough that they’d completed a “10,000 year” calculation on their Sycamore quantum chip in 200 seconds. If the term “Supremacy” wasn’t sinister enough, the claim that this could render conventional encryption methods obsolete in a decade or so should give you pause for thought. this could render conventional encryption methods obsolete Just think about it for a second: that’s your bank account, all your passwords, biometric passport information, social security, cloud storage and yes, even your MTX tokens open and available to anyone with a working knowledge of Bose-Einstein condensates and a superconductor lab in their basement. Or not. 2. Killer Robots To my mind, whoever dreamed up fast-moving zombies is already too depraved for words, but at least your average flesh-muncher can be “neutralised” with a simple shotgun to the face or — if you really have nothing else — a good smack with a blunt object. The Terminator, on the other hand (whichever one you like), a robot whose actual design brief includes the words “Killer” and “Unstoppable” in the same sentence, fills me with the kind of dread normally reserved for episodes of Meet the Kardashians. autonomous drone swarms…detect their target with facial recognition and kill on sight on the basis of…social media profile We already know for certain that Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs for short…) are in active development in at least 5 countries. The real concern, though, is probably the multinationals who, frankly, will sell to anyone. With help from household names like Amazon and Microsoft, these lovely people have already built “demonstration” models of everything from Unmanned Combat Aerial Systems (read “Killer Drones”) and Security Guard Robots (gun-turrets on steroids) to Unmanned Nuclear Torpedoes. If that’s not enough for you, try autonomous drone swarms which detect their target with facial recognition and kill on sight on the basis of… wait for it…“demographic” or “social media profile”. Until recently, your common-or-garden killer robot was more likely to hurt you by accidentally falling on top of you than through any kind of goal-directed action, but all that’s about to change. Take Boston Dynamics, for example: the DARPA funded, Japanese owned spin-out from MIT whose humanoid Atlas can do parkour, and whose dancing quadruped SpotMini looks cute until you imagine it chasing you with a taser bolted to its back. The big issue here is the definition of “Autonomous”. At the moment, most real world systems operate with “Human in the Loop”, meaning that even if it’s capable of handling its own, say, target selection, a human retains direct control. “Human on the Loop” systems however, allow the machine to operate autonomously, under human “supervision” (whatever that means). Ultimately, more autonomy tends towards robots deciding for themselves to kill humans. Does anyone actually think this is a good idea?! 3. The Great Brain Robbery If the furore around Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election is anything to go by, the world is gradually waking up to the idea that…
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