Facebook and the grand challenge of digital ethics

“Facebook achieved this dominance by combining social media, mobile, cloud and big data technology. Its phenomenal rise to power happened on the back of emerging technologies, not individually but together. Cloud-enabled big data and mobile helped deliver influence through social media, all made possible by the internet and the world wide web. It’s a classic example of explosive growth on the back of tech-driven innovation that taps into an unmet customer need.

‘What 2.7bn people see and interpret as truth daily will be “governed” by a single for-profit company’
– BRIAN HOPKINS

Facebook already has a bigger daily impact on the lives of some people than their government. In some respects, it has just as much influence.

Now, what 2.7bn people see and interpret as truth daily – and the approximately $40bn that firms spend in advertising each year – will be ‘governed’ by a single for-profit company. Compounding this concern, consider that Facebook, through preferred stock, is entirely controlled by one person.”

Facebook and the grand challenge of digital ethics
https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/facebook-media-currency-digital-ethics
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Elon Musk’s ‘Brain Chip’ Could Be Suicide of the Mind, Says Scientist

“Musk argued that such devices will help humans deal with the so-called AI apocalypse, a scenario in which artificial intelligence outpaces human intelligence and takes control of the planet away from the human species. “Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind,” Musk warned. “But with a brain-machine interface, we can actually go along for the ride. And we can have the option of merging with AI. This is extremely important.”

However, some members of the science community warn that such a device could actually lead to human beings’ self-destruction before the “AI apocalypse” even comes along.

In an op-ed for The Financial Times on Tuesday, cognitive psychologist and philosopher Susan Schneider said merging human brains with AI would be “suicide for the human mind.”

“The philosophical obstacles are as pressing as the technological ones,” wrote Schneider, who chairs the Library of Congress and directs the AI, Mind and Society Group at the University of Connecticut.

To illustrate this point, she brought up a hypothetical scenario inspired by Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan: Imagine as soon as you are born, an AI device called the “jewel” is inserted in your brain which constantly monitors your brain’s activity in order to learn how to mimic your thoughts and behaviors. By the time you are an adult, the device has perfectly “backed up” your brain and can think and behave just like you. Then, you have your original brain surgically removed and let the “jewel” be your “new brain.””

Elon Musk’s ‘Brain Chip’ Could Be Suicide of the Mind, Says Scientist
https://observer.com/2019/08/elon-musk-neuralink-ai-brain-chip-danger-psychologist/
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China has started a grand experiment in AI education. It could reshape how the world learns.

“As machines become better at rote tasks, humans will need to focus on the skills that remain unique to them: creativity, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving. They will also need to adapt quickly as more and more skills fall prey to automation. This means the 21st-century classroom should bring out the strengths and interests of each person, rather than impart a canonical set of knowledge more suited for the industrial age.

AI, in theory, could make this easier. It could take over certain rote tasks in the classroom, freeing teachers up to pay more attention to each student. Hypotheses differ about what that might look like. Perhaps AI will teach certain kinds of knowledge while humans teach others; perhaps it will help teachers keep track of student performance or give students more control over how they learn. Regardless, the ultimate goal is deeply personalized teaching.”

China has started a grand experiment in AI education. It could reshape how the world learns.
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614057/china-squirrel-has-started-a-grand-experiment-in-ai-education-it-could-reshape-how-the/
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Food Abundance and Unintended Consequences

“What potential unintended consequences emerge as we move towards food abundance? The Future Today Institute describes a scenario where high-tech local microfarms upend the status quo for supply chains built around conventional agriculture and supermarkets. They envision a possible future where the shift impacts everyone from merchants and importers to truck drivers and UPC code sticker providers. Food shortage driven by extreme weather is also likely to drive a migration from impacted regions to countries like the U.S. and Europe; creating a humanitarian crisis. As stated by FTI:

That’s why planning for this plant future is vital to ensure that their plant factories arrive with opportunity rather than civil and economic unrest.”

Food Abundance and Unintended Consequences
https://frankdiana.net/2019/06/12/food-abundance-and-unintended-consequences/
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Will AI shatter human exceptionalism?

“From an evolutionary perspective, this is preposterous. The fact that humans are different from other animals is a distinction of degree, not of kind. Once we properly orient ourselves on the evolutionary tree, it becomes clear that we can learn more about ourselves by focusing on our similarities with other animals than by perpetuating the myth that we’re categorically unique.

Peter Clarke, “Transhumanism and the Death of Human Exceptionalism” at Areo”

Will AI shatter human exceptionalism?
https://mindmatters.ai/2019/03/will-ai-shatter-human-exceptionalism/
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Soul Downloading… Please wait. Syntax vs semantics

“J. Searle arguments, that a machine will never have a mind or consciousness, because “understanding” is always only simulated. The logic of computers follows a pure formal structure (syntax), which orders symbols according to clear rules and hence only emulates understanding. In contrast to humans, with a mind and consciousness, who are able to attribute meaning and content to words and language (semantics).”

Soul Downloading… Please wait.
https://www.sovereignmagazine.co.uk/2019/06/03/soul-downloading-please-wait/
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'Black Mirror' Isn't Surprising Anymore. We're Screwed

“In other words, show creator Charlie Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones in all likelihood plucked Bauer's vision quest not from the headlines but from their own brains—only to have reality outpace what would otherwise be a pitch-perfect lampoon of tech-founder sanctimony. Such is the burden of Black Mirror. More than seven years after it first debuted, the sci-fi anthology can still make you laugh (sometimes), unnerve you (many more times), and even disappoint you (more on that in a bit). It just may no longer surprise you.”

'Black Mirror' Isn't Surprising Anymore. We're Screwed
https://www.wired.com/story/black-mirror-season-3-review/
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Imagining New Institutions for the Internet Age – OneZero

“In a world awash in information, the curator is king. Behind each digital throne is an algorithm, a specialized artificial intelligence that is powered by data. More data means better machine learning which attracts more talent that build better products that attract more users that generate more data. Rinse, repeat. This positive feedback loop means that A.I. tends toward centralization. Centralization means monopoly and monopoly means power. That’s why companies like Google and Facebook post annual revenues that dwarf the gross domestic product of some countries.”

Imagining New Institutions for the Internet Age – OneZero
https://onezero.medium.com/imagining-new-institutions-for-the-internet-age-bf17212063db
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Meet me in Bucharest June 10!!

Technology, humanity, society and ethics: A look at the next 10 years

Understanding the future and developing foresights is becoming mission-critical. Join us for this groundbreaking session where Gerd will introduce the most important things we must know about the etfuture, today, such as the decline of the oil and fossile fuel economy, the end of routine work (and why that's not the end of work),  the newly emerging opportunities caused by industry convergence, automation vs globalization, tomorrow’s ethics, a new economic system, the future of Europe and much more. 
The future is better than we think - we just need to govern it wisely.

Keynote Speaker: Gerd Leonhard - Futurist | Author | Speaker | CEO - TheFuturesAgency
Guest Speaker: Peter Vander Auwera - Content Curator Digital Ethics | Speaker | Sensemaker