May 31, 2020

Ten phrases to be afraid of technology and social networks (if you don't already have it) | Talent

Feeling vertigo, distrust and respect for all the changes that are happening is logical. Above all, because many relevant actors in these industries spare no effort in releasing their warnings. These are just ten of them.

RICHARD STALLMAN: “Mobile phones are Stalin's dream, because they emit a location signal every two or three minutes. And worse, one of its processors has a universal backdoor that turns them into listening devices that never goes off. ”

This phrase is from Richard Stallman (New York 1953). Who is Stallman? Nothing less than the creator of free software, creator of the concept copyleft, which gave rise to creative commons. In 1984 he launched the creation of the free Gnu software, completed in 1992 with Linux. To interview you He made us commit to not uploading his photos to Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp; to deactivate geolocation so as not to facilitate “tracking” before taking a picture with the mobile phone; and to distribute the video we made in formats that can only be played in free software.

ELON MUSK: "I tend to be against strict regulations, but in artificial intelligence we need it (…): it is a risk to our civilization. (…) Researchers believe they are smarter than artificial intelligence, but they are wrong."

Elon Musk almost requires no introduction, but the Country Style Book forces us to put it. CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, founder of Paypal, has urged the governors of the United States to take action against the risks of the development of artificial intelligence for society and that an agency be established to supervise and guide its development.

NIALL FERGUSON: "Social networks work by encouraging the dissemination of false news and extreme opinions because it is what most attracts the attention of users and, thus, in most democracies we have just begun the process of political polarization."

Niall Ferguson is a historian at the Hoover Institution (Stanford) and a Harvard professor, proposed in our interview To limit the power of Facebook, it is not worth trying to undo monopolies, but to modify section 230 of the Communications Decency Law, which gave the platforms the possibility of disregarding the content published in them. "If their editorial function is recognized, the cost of technology is skyrocketing because the volume of content they publish is gigantic and one of the ways to prevent monopoly companies from becoming too powerful is to increase their costs."

LUZ RODRÍGUEZ: “Uber we are all. If we consume low cost, we generate low cost labor market ”.

We constantly complain that salaries are getting lower, but our daily customs related to technology They favor the proliferation of this type of low-cost services. This is what Luz Rodríguez believes, member of the Sagardoy Advisory Council and former Secretary of State for Employment of the Spanish Government (2010-2012) and researcher at the University of Castilla La Mancha. “The narratives are not innocent: from technology it is said that everything is radically new and disruptive and that we must banish everything done so far: it is the idea of ​​obsolescence of guarantees and labor institutions,” says Rodríguez. In his opinion, this is a worrying mistake. "What is now is not radically new and you don't have to throw away everything built in the past, including rights."

YUVAL NOAH HARARI: “Google, or some company of that style, will make the main decisions about health, about children or about us. The same can happen in other fields of life, even romantic life. If an algorithm monitors you all the time, it knows you better than you. ”

Yuval Noah Harari (Haifa, Israel, 1976) has become a whole celebrity following the bombing of his book Sapiens. From animals to gods. He is convinced that machines are going to be imposed on humans, because "we have created machines that are capable of doing things that their creators do not understand." And this will affect our health … and work. "When people live 150 years, when robots take up most of the work … Then a social class that you call useless will appear."

NICK BOSTROM: "If artificial intelligence ends up being able to do all or much of our intellectual work better than we do, we will have in our hands the last invention that humanity will have to make."

Nick Bostrom (Helsingborg, Sweden, 1973) He directs the Institute for the Future of Humanity and the Artificial Intelligence Strategy Research Center at the University of Oxford. His theories about the risk that would represent the creation of a superintelligence for the world have influenced the thinking of figures like Bill Gates or Elon Musk. "It is not difficult to think of an artificial intelligence that is increasingly powerful whose objectives are not perfectly aligned with human objectives," he warns.

SILVIO MICALI: “Bitcoin is a recipe for disaster. (…) It is absolutely doomed. We need a different model. ”

Silvio Micali (Palermo, 1954) is a professor and associate director of the Department of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who has dedicated more than three decades to lay the foundations of modern cryptography, without which Maybe blockchain would not have been born. Although he sees a great danger in Bitcoin, he does believe that cryptocurrencies are useful for changing the world and the way we make transactions between us. But I don't think Bitcoin is the solution we are looking for. "

VINCENT MOSCO: "Cloud computing is a danger to freedom on the Internet."

Vincent Mosco is an emeritus professor of Sociology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada), who has dedicated his life to analyzing communication and media transformations, as well as being a promoter of the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council . He says that the famous cloud basically consists of “taking data hosted on personal computers and corporations and administrations and moving it to large data centers hosted anywhere in the world, managed by a handful of US companies that profit using that data for their own businesses. " Almost nothing.

NICHOLAS CARR: "Google and other companies undermine our ability to think deeply, critically and conceptually, it pushes us towards superficial thinking and far from rigor."

The speaker is Nicholas Carr (USA, 1950), a disseminating technologist who strives, above all, to warn of the dangers of technology. Focus your efforts on Google and social networks. “Google’s vision of the human mind is industrial,” He told us a few months ago. It's about the efficiency with which our brain processes information. For this reason, Google and other companies put so much emphasis on the speed and volume of information consumption. ” In his opinion, there is scientific evidence that shows that digital media push us towards superficial thinking and far from rigor. And everything “is much worse since we have a smartphone all the time". And concludes with another pearl: "If there are still people who are under the illusion that Facebook is a benign tool for social harmony, they must have been asleep for years."

TIM BERNERS-LEE: "The Web was directed to good sites, but it has gone out of the way. (…) There is not a single incident that summarizes everything that has happened. There are many things that have gone wrong: data leaks in some companies, aspects related to democracy, privacy issues, minority issues … ".

What better than ending the very creator of the Internet, Sir Tim Berners Lee (London, 1955). When we spoke with him he highlighted "the incredible spirit" that was lived at the beginning, when things seemed very promising, the harmful content leaked on its own on the Web. Something that no longer happens. “The best thing for democracy would be for political advertising on Facebook to be deactivated. There are many things that are wrong in the way parties use advertising on this social network. ”

Bonus track for those who have come here:

STEPHEN HAWKING: "Artificial intelligence predicts the end of the human race"

It was 2014 and the British physicist () scared everyone by saying that "the development of complete artificial intelligence (AI) could translate into the end of the human race." For Hawking, artificial intelligence developed so far has proven very useful, but fears that a more elaborate version of AI "may decide to redesign itself and even reach a higher level." And if Hawking says so …

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