“It’s understandable why media on the web is like it is today,” Williams tells the Guardian. “That’s not to say there’s not a lot of great stuff out there, but a lot of people are dissatisfied with it. A lot of journalists who want to do great stuff are dissatisfied. Advertisers and brands are dissatisfied. We’re still stuck in some very naive thinking, with the idea that people consuming media means that’s what they want – it’s like, well, we put junk food in front of them and they ate that, so that must be what they want.””
“Artificial intelligence may well help solve the most complex problems humankind faces, like curing cancer and climate change – but in the near term, it is also likely to empower surveillance, erode privacy and turbocharge telemarketers.”
“Technological utopians are being proven wrong by the facts: technology does not create prosperity, good democracy, and justice — humans do. To ensure that the digital economy fulfills its promise, we’ll need a new social contract that guarantees opportunities for full employment, protects our privacy, and enables prosperity not just for the few but for everyone.”
“NYU research psychologist Gary Marcus has said that “virtually everyone” who works in AI believes that machines will eventually overtake us: “The only real difference between enthusiasts and skeptics is a time frame.” Futurists like Ray Kurzweil think it could happen within a couple of decades, while others say it could take centuries.”
“There are uncountable things that only a human can do, and that no computer seems close to. The problem is that the purely human things are not economically useful to anyone. The things that computers can be taught to do are by contrast”
“When we eliminate uncertainty, we forfeit the human replenishment that attaches to the challenge of asserting predictability in the face of an always-unknown future in favor of the blankness of perpetual compliance with someone else’s plan.”
“This is a prelude of things to come, not only with encryption technologies, but everything from artificial intelligence to drones, robotics, and synthetic biology. Technology is moving faster than our ability to understand it and there is no consensus on what is ethical. It isn’t just the lawmakers who are not well-informed, the originators of the technologies themselves don’t understand the full ramifications of what they are creating. They may take strong positions today based on their emotions and financial interests but as they learn more, they too will change their views.”
'Painting the pro-privacy side as out-of-step loonies, tinfoil-hatted throwbacks in the post-privacy era was a cheap and effective tactic. It made the pro-surveillance argument into a *pro-progress* one: “Society has moved on. Our data can do more good in big, aggregated piles than it can in atomized fragments on your device and mine. The private data we exhaust when we move through the digital world is a precious resource, not pollution.”
It’s a powerful argument. When companies that promise to monetize your surveillance beat companies that promise to protect your privacy, when people can’t even be bothered to tick the box to block tracking cookies, let alone install full-disk encryption and GPG to protect their email, the pro-surveillance camp can always argue that they’re doing something that no one minds very much.”
Like climate change, the privacy catastrophes of the next two decades are already inevitable. The problem we face is preventing the much worse catastrophes of the following the decades.
And as computers are integrated into the buildings and vehicles and cities we inhabit, as they penetrate our bodies, the potential harms from breaches will become worse"