Saturday, March 28, 2015

#87 / Technophilia

This image is titled "Bizarre Figures," and is an etching by Giovanni Battista Bracelli, 1624. It is featured as an illustration in a book review published in a recent edition of The New York Review of Books.

The book reviewed, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, by Nicholas Carr, is said to explore "the hidden costs of granting software dominion over our work and our leisure." That quote comes from a website that is trying to sell the book.  Here is the concluding paragraph of the book review; that is what particularly caught my attention: 

We live in a technophilic age. We love our digital devices and all that they can do for us. We celebrate our Internet billionaires: they show us the way and deliver us to our destiny. We have President Obama, who established the National Robotics Initiative to develop the “next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas.” Even so, it is naive to believe that government is competent, let alone in a position, to control the development and deployment of robots, self-generating algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Government has too many constituent parts that have their own, sometimes competing, visions of the technological future. Business, of course, is self-interested and resists regulation. We, the people, are on our own here—though if the AI developers have their way, not for long.

This is one more warning (I have posted several) that we had better get control over our own creations, or they may well end up getting control over us.

Image Credit:

1 comment:

  1. Have you actually read Carr's book? It's rife with logical fallacies including special pleading, cherry-picking, false dilemmas, appeals to ignorance, and appeals to fear. His arguments all boil down to a lack of understanding of how technology, computer programming in particular, actually works.


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