why the future belongs to artificial intelligence


Ian Parson

It seems to me that governments today are trying to use technology to spy on literally everyone and control literally everything.

This is of course completely unrealistic. Total control is as difficult to achieve as a jog under water.

People are going to do what they do because we run on emotions whenever the big decisions need to be made.

We are incapable of discussing anything meaningful without becoming emotional.

You can put as many cameras on the street as you like, when emotions are running high in some hormonal teenager; he or she is going to do whatever is on their mind.

We should really be looking at why they feel the need to throw caution to the wind. Be it late night criminal damage or going to the club tooled up.

There was a time, not that long ago, when it was possible to get into a drunken scrape and come through it with nothing worse than minor injuries and a damaged reputation.

We could get away with some horrendous behaviour in the 80’s and 90’s because we weren’t being constantly filmed. But also because people didn’t take offence at the slightest opportunity and because there was a certain amount of ‘there but for the grace of god’ understanding that we all mess up sometimes. Especially when we are starting out in adulthood.

We were always encouraged to do well at school but lack of exams wasn’t the end of the world for those less academic kids. It was understood that a society relies on a wide range of talents and expertise if it is to function.

We seem to have lost track of this.

It was also understood that it took a certain type of character to serve in public office. This was considered an honourable position for honourable men. If they did give in to temptation or get caught up in a scandal it was understood by all that they would resign. Immediately.

Politicians especially were public servants. Often specialists in their particular fields with distinguished careers and fine reputations, but servants none the less.

Nowadays we are cursed with the career politician. Certain Western democracies have been hijacked. Algorithms have been used to turn us upon each other. This is a distraction while some very greedy individuals try desperately to hoover up all the money; change laws so they won’t be tried retrospectively, redraw the social contract and cover their tracks.

Meanwhile the vast majority of mankind are too busy just getting by. They have neither the time nor the inclination to get involved in something they understand just enough to realise it isn’t what it should be.

That should be the problem. The fact that we are ‘just getting by’ with all this amazing technology at our disposal.

The real problem though, is that we are beginning to forget what reality, the social contract should look like.

Fortunately I believe despite the best efforts of the greedy they are doomed to failure.

Mankind will not be kept down.

The technology with which they are trying to take over the world is actually working against them.

The silent majority may not have time to check facts and point out lies but some individuals out there have both the time and the inclination. You probably know them as ‘champagne socialists’ or ‘do-gooders’, Occupy or Anonymous.

These people are a new breed, they fact check, check again, and then they post online.

Yes I know the message can get lost, drowned out, the messenger attacked personally. ‘Enemies of the people’ springs to mind, but the truth will out eventually, especially if those doing the tweeting are proving themselves informed by their predictions.

For the first time in our history it is impossible to truly shut somebody up if they have something they want to say. You don’t have to listen, you can disagree, but you can’t stop the Internet.

Well you could, but then you really would have a riot on your hands.

In the future Tim Berners Lee will be revered to the high position he deserves. Children will regard him as a hero. Not yet, we are all still too furious. But one day. Once the dust settles, the technological pipeline is up and running and we have the fact meter built into the Internet, then, and only then will Mankind be ready for the next phase.

But before I explore the next phase let us recap.

It is fair to say that trust placed in the same hands repeatedly, was a foolish thing to do.

The scandal of the Catholic Church and the American military’s use of torture in Iraq are prime examples. But practically every decision of the last forty years was of a similar quality.

Some of it might have worked out ok for the West in the short term, but the long-term paybacks are way too high. Unless you pretend there aren’t any of course. You know the type, ‘Guns don’t kill’ ‘Police numbers have nothing to do with crime’.

Somewhere along the line an obsession to maintain the status quo became the ONLY thing that mattered.

When leaders make laws and judgements they tell themselves “It might not be perfect “ or “Life’s not fair” to justify the awkward fact that ‘The People’ the ones actually affected, the one’s who bring their children home in body bags, say, loudly on occasion, “This won’t work in today’s world”

The response from Downing Street or Washington has been since the late 70’s

“Don’t question us peasant”

And then they will add in a more conciliatory tone,

“You may not understand why its more important to spend money on a Royal wedding than try and make inroads into homeless numbers, food bank numbers, the ‘just about managings numbers’ but we know stuff.

We’re not experts, because experts are bad now, but we know stuff, so don’t worry about it.”

When you are spouting lies and nonsense you have to do so forcefully. You have to ridicule any dissenting voices with great passion. Attack them personally if need be.

Anger and disgust sell papers. So the owners of the nationals were more than happy to point their fingers away from the danger.

“No they say, the problem isn’t in Whitehall or the White House. The problem is over there, coming from those people with brown faces. Yeah that’s them, the ones without a voice. The ones that can’t defend themselves against our onslaught.

If this is how you choose to behave, fair enough.

Unfortunately that old devil ‘unforseen circumstances’ will eventually need to be reckoned with.

Nowadays you must pick a side. I’m a Republican, I’m a Socialist, I’m a unicorn, a female one.

Whatever, you choose a side and you stick with it, like it was your football team.

Your teams right, their teams wrong, and the whole spectrum of negative forces are employed to prove it.

Truth becomes subjective, common sense ceases to matter.

We are at a point where there is a school shooting in America, should I call it ‘the latest school shooting’, or should I say, ‘This weeks school shooting, tune in soon for the next one it’s due any time now’?

Anyway we have reached a point where the voice of reason will suggest that maybe, just maybe, the gun laws in the States could be revisited.

Immediately the NRA will vehemently disagree.

‘No’ they insist ‘Guns aren’t the problem. The problem lies with doors.’

Not ‘The Doors’ led by Jim Morrison, which would make more sense, but actual doors.

They say if there were fewer doors in schools it wouldn’t be so easy for these nutters to get in.

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t for the facts that children are dead and half of Americans take this nonsense seriously. They have to. It came from their team, and it is now a point of fact they would be prepared to die on a bridge for if necessary.

Yes boys and girls, doors caused all the school shootings in the first decades of the 21st Century, it says it right here in the history books.

I know change can be daunting and I know ‘things were better when you were young’. But that wasn’t because things were better, that was because you were young!

But that’s now a moot point anyway.

As this century progresses robots and artificial intelligence will do all the work. And I do mean ‘all’ the work.

Now before we panic lets just pause.

If you and your children have no work to do, that’s a good thing.

You don’t like work, and if you do like work that’s fine you can still be involved. You can still get up at 6.30am, five days a week and go there if you like. And that is the point, you will have free time. You can do whatever you like with it.

Most will choose to spend their days, their life, doing the things they like doing. And what’s wrong with that?

It will make us all happier, more pleasant, easier to get along with.

The Basic Income will cover your daily bills. This will take the place of your salary. So nothings really changed, except you now have more free time.

The other game changer is Artificial Intelligence. This genie is not going back in the box, no matter how much you wish it.

So we must decide, do we accept things as they are?

A lifetime of debt, insecurity, working at a job that a robot could do in half the time?

Are you happy to basically just waste your life doing things that were necessary once but aren’t now.

Or is now the time to question your government? A little ‘social disobedience’ if you will. If something doesn’t seem right, look into their reasons, and if you find the answers to your questions slightly troubling if not outrageous, say so. Loudly and repeatedly, online if you so desire.

You don’t even have to walk to the library or read a book. You can research anything from your phone. The answers are there, the mistakes of the past clearly signposted.

Or you can simply dig the trenches and become more and more partisan about everything until war is inevitable.

This is a tempting choice because no thought is required, just blind faith in the system they taught you about at school. The one that has worked well enough for you. The problem is it isn’t fit to serve your children or any of their descendants.

They can’t afford houses, they live on credit, they are encouraged to think people less fortunate than them are the cause of all their woes.

Its not like it was in your day. And that’s not because the foreigners took all the jobs. No, those people have drive and ambition, that’s why they are here. They still have those qualities when they relocate. They become taxpayers, the kind that pays their tax here. They are job creators. They are the good guys.

If you want to blame somebody, statistically you should look towards the longer life spans at one end of the population and the very low death rates at the beginning of the game. But that would be the babies and the pensioners, so that can’t be right, it must be the foreigners. Sorry, that is still ridiculous, try again.

How about the politicians who allowed greed to become a good trait and morality to become a dirty word?

I wrote `The East End Beckons’ a few years ago to try and remind us that Capitalism is not the only choice. There are many others.

In the mid 1970’s many residents of the Soviet Union knew their government had failed. It took fifteen years before they could visualise something taking its place.

We are in the same position now. That’s why the Capitalists are stashing away every penny they can.

But this isn’t Russia in the 80’s. Things move faster now. We don’t even

We have to rethink how things are done.

We have to rethink how things are done.

Michael Gove famously said 'We are sick and tired of experts' That type of thinking makes it acceptable to fill the White House with your family members, like a banana republic.

Michael Gove famously said ‘We are sick and tired of experts’ That type of thinking makes it acceptable to fill the White House with your family members, like a banana republic.

have fifteen years to make the necessary changes.

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