Techno-social engineering is freaking insiders out

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Should hackers help hack a means of democratically regulating corporations and of reforming intellectual property abuses before taking up the “Skynet issue” for Mr. Gates?

I’m just sayin’ … :neutral_face:


Some academics have even raised the specter of techno-social engineering and questioned whether we are moving into an age in which “humans become machine-like and pervasively programmable.”

That technology has existed for thousands of years. It’s called religion.


And marketing.


is this post sponsored content?


It might be called ideology instead.


I know this because I spoke with dozens of them "



Only once you’ve completed your sophomore year of uni, though…


And yet, with all the GB of data they have collected on me, they are unable to serve me an ad for SOMETHING THAT I HAVE THE SLIGHTEST INTEREST IN BUYING.


What if one of the big social networks started offering background
checks that predicted and ranked the suitability of job applicants based
on each candidate’s data set – regardless of whether the information
was “public” or not?

This is basically the business model of linkedin.


That’s kinda the rub though, they have no interest in actually serving you, you are the product they are selling to advertisers. All they have to do is convince the people they’ve sold your eyeballs to that the set of numerous eyeballs they charged for was somewhat more qualified then random. Outliers get distributed into other sets to pad the numbers until someone wants to specifically advertise to your unique subset whatever that may be.


There would be nothing inherently wrong with this if we could be absolutely certain the companies that control this technology will act only in our best interests.

Best interests is a red herring. What’s in someone’s best interests is highly subjective.

Part of the problem is that people will be waiting for a machine intelligence to “wake up” and will therefore assume that no self-aware machines means we still have self-determination either as individuals or a species. This is a fallacy. What we have done in a nutshell is to take the adaptive power of evolution and convert it into a pure abstraction running platform independently. We have sown the wind. Here is your whirlwind.

The truth is though that this was inevitable as soon as the first simple electric circuits caught on in the 19th Century. Musk and Gates and Hawking can freak out. But there is no stopping the evolution of algorithms now. There is only surviving it and finding a way to co-exist with our AI. Whether that AI manages consciousness is almost incidental.


We’ll have the whole human enterprise purring away like a eukaryotic germ line in no time.

Agh! Segregation distorter!

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The same Linkedin that keeps sending me information about jobs I might be interested in, because the algorithm obviously can’t cope with the word “retired”. I have actually deleted my last job and all my endorsements to stop this happening. (I only keep a presence there in case someone has lost my contact details.)


Butlerian Jihad.
I don’t like Dune, with its glorification of Islamic fundamentalism and its fascist assumption that what the universe needs is an inspired, all powerful leader. But the Butlerian Jihad may be prescient.

I was getting the same vibe - ‘In my book’ (measily priced at 15 guineas to paraphrase Spike)


No, an algorithm thought it would appeal to you :wink:

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Many of us are starting to use wearable computers on our wrists. What if your insurance company could marry your biometric data with your health history and genetic profile and was able to, for example, predict you were 10 times more likely than average to suffer a heart attack? Might you one day be required by your insurer to live a certain lifestyle in order to minimize its financial risk?

What does the author mean by “what if”? If he wrote an entire book on this subject and didn’t come across the fact that insurers (and employers) are already doing this, then I doubt the book is worth reading.

Here’s one link, but 10 seconds of googling turns up plenty.


This guy sounds like the kind of chap Cave Johnson wants on his team!


For myself, I’d prefer to merge with the computers themselves. It’s the other way how to keep up with the pace.

Same sex life but orders of magnitude better cognitive capabilities.

I didn’t read those books, just the first few… Did the machines try to fight back by chemical and/or biological warfare? As different platforms they’d be immune against the agents used. And if they were in charge of manufacturing and logistics, their production and weaponization would also be on hand. “Just-in-time, door-to-door” can be applied to a wide range of products.