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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
Today: Touring the Torment Nexus: As the internet meme has it, Big Tech is building the “Torment Nexus” - the monstrous thing that dystopian sci-fi has warned us, for years, NOT to build. Today, a tour of the Torment Nexus: comparing the warnings issued by past guests with recent, real-world tech news.
• About Skynet: do you mean...
-> Skynet, a UK military satellite communications system
-> SKYNET, a surveillance program by the U.S. National Security Agency - see also this article
-> Skynet, the Chinese government’s video mass surveillance system - see also this article
• After last week with James Bridle (Aug 8, 2022), consider what Frank Pasquale said back on May 3, 2021 while discussing his book "New Laws of Robotics."
• After Meredith Broussard ("Artificial Unintelligence") spoke on (May 28, 2018) about the "trolley problem" and self-driving cars... and after Sam West and Matt Klinman's SMARTR (Dec 16, 2019) ... Tesla’s self-driving technology fails to detect children in the road, group claims (The Guardian, Aug 9, 2022): "A safe-technology campaign group opposed to Tesla’s self-driving technology has claimed to have run tests that show the software represents a potentially lethal threat to child pedestrians, in the latest in a series of claims and investigations to hit the world’s leading electric carmaker.
"The Dawn Project says its test track results revealed that the latest version of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software failed to detect a stationary, child-sized mannequin at an average speed of 25mph.
"... [Dan] O’Dowd described the test results – which have been published on the Dawn Project’s website – as 'deeply disturbing' and that Tesla’s software represented 'a lethal threat to all Americans.'
He added: 'Over 100,000 Tesla drivers are already using the car’s Full Self-Driving mode on public roads, putting children at great risk in communities across the country.'"
.....see also the responses from Tesla fanboys (Futurism, Aug 10): "Prominent Tesla fanboy and investor account Whole Mars Catalog ... asked its 129,000 followers if there was 'anyone in the Bay Area with a child who can run in front of my car on Full Self-Driving Beta to make a point?' clarifying that this was a "serious request. To make matters worse, Whole Mars claims someone volunteered their child for the experiment."
• After Joe Turow ("The Voice Catchers") on speaking about blood samples (Sep 27, 2021) ... Police Used a Baby’s DNA to Investigate Its Father for a Crime (Wired, Aug 15, 2022): "According to the New Jersey lawsuit, police had reopened an investigation into a cold case and had used genetics to place the suspect within a single family: one of several adults or their children. But police didn’t yet have probable cause to obtain search warrants for DNA swabs from any of them. Instead, they asked the state’s newborn screening lab for a blood sample of one of the children.
. . . "Jennifer Sellitti, an attorney with the Office of the New Jersey Public Defender, which is representing the father, says combining newborn screening samples with genetic genealogy opens the door for virtually anyone’s DNA to be used in a criminal investigation. “This is like a dystopian onion. Every time we peel back another layer, we find some new violation of privacy,” she says.
. . . "Until recently, the main database at law enforcement’s disposal was the Combined DNA Index System, or Codis, which is maintained by the FBI. Codis contains around 14 million DNA profiles, but there are strict rules for what kind can be submitted: those of people arrested for or convicted of felonies, and unidentified remains. But anyone can take a consumer DNA test and upload their genetic profile to genealogy websites, some of which allow police access."
(Turow also speaks about habituation and normalization as goals of Big Tech surveillance companies... hence the story ‘Ring Nation’ is what happens when America's Funniest Home Videos meets Black Mirror (Engadged, Aug 12): "The 'surveillance TV, but make it funny' show will launch on September 26th."
• Man Who Built ISP Instead of Paying Comcast Expands to Hundreds of Homes (Ars Technica)
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|Artist||Track||Album||Label||Images||Approx. start time|
|Touring the Torment Nexus: comparing the warnings issued by past guests with recent, real-world tech news.|
|Tomaš Dvořák||Game Boy Tune||Machinarium Soundtrack||n/a|
|Charlton Heston||Soylent Green is People||Soylent Green||n/a||0:56:29 (MP3 | Pop-up)|