Left To Our Own Designs…

I have a sore back. Nothing drastic but it will require me to be out of commission for a few days. That get’s dangerous for me and as I sat on the back patio smoking a fat one my mind got to wandering. I thought about our quest for perfection in all things and led me to think about now and the future.

510674920We have created Artificial Intelligence(AI), Virtual Reality(VR) and some strange things called BOTs. AI is simply programming computers to act like humans. Algorithms are dreamed up for just about everything to achieve optimal results. We now have portfolios that run automatically. The stock markets today are controlled by machines 90% of the time. They pick up on words, financial results or announcements and act accordingly. Some do very well.

Google et al take a look at your buying but also your thinking patterns. They constantly bombard you with what you like whether is is a pair of socks or a new TV. The news you receive is prioritized as to whether you are liberal, conservative or God forbid moderate. In a sense you are cast in stone. Efficient to say the least but also with a dash of scary thrown in.

IBM’s Watson has revolutionized many things and most interestingly the world of medicine. He or she can can scan thousands of highly technical treatises and digest them into salient bullet points. All in a matter of moments. We now have diagnoses being made and test results scanned with more accuracy than MD’s. It is said in the not too distant future you will walk through a portal in your home every day and it will catch any abnormalities exist. In my case that could really get dangerous.

Taken to its logical end we will have sensors that a doctor or perhaps a machine will analyze and tell you what is wrong with you and how they are going to fix it. A boon for rural medicine and the impoverished. They will send your meds via Amazon or CVS and presto you back on your way to goof health.

 

480894322VR is really out of a Star Wars movie. You put on this headset in which there is created a whole new environment. You won’t have to travel to faraway places because you can experience the Taj Mahal or the Louvre right in your living room. You can watch a football game as if you are right in the huddle. Sunbathing on the French Riviera is a matter of bringing it up on line. You may even smell the ocean breezes or hear the rustling of the palms in your four story walkup in Brooklyn.

In the business world there will no longer be a need for travel. Visiting the grandkids? We can do that without the aggravation of a long car or plane ride. If they bug you, feel free to just cut them off and take it up again at a later date. You don’t have to landscape your property or keep your neighborhood clean because you can project perfection inside your own house. Pick you temperature. Pick your location. Pick your friends. It its going to be great.

 

Lastly are these BOT things. Basically they are robots that play a script based on your reactions. Siri and Alexa are just the beginning. They will be able to smile at you and offer advice. I hope mine looks at me in the mirror and says, “Man you are looking fine today, Mister Ted”
TTG may have to fall by the wayside as my moniker, in that I will just be one of the crowd. Sad but true.

I can see my new environs quite clearly. I will live in a hermetically sealed abode. I won’t need furniture because it is all virtual. I will eat nutritionally perfect meals so I won’t have to worry about my weight. Booze will be out of the question in that as they always say, it is just empty calories. Won’t need a car even if it is electric because I have no need to go out. Won’t play golf as it will all be on a simulator, I won’t workout because those electrodes I am attached to will take care of everything.

There will be no need for human interaction because that too will be passe. Think of it, no flu or sexually transmitted disease. Sexual harassment? A thing of the past. Speaking of sex that is not necessary.  You will be perfectly happy and if you want a kid you just order one to your specifications. Amazon will handle that too. Free shipping included. You will know you have gone over the line When Alexa or Alex as the case may be, starts to look good.

Now if all this sounds depressing we have a BOT for that. Tell me Ted, what is on your mind? Depending on my response I will get canned psychoanalysis. I can’t complain about my golf game because it will all be in my mind’s eye and predetermined. I won’t even have to write my blog. Just pick a topic and away whomever will reel it off. Stop cheering!

There is one major problem. Let’s say a hacker gets on line and wipes out our power grid so my electronic Major Dome shuts down. Even better some rogue nation takes out all the satellites with lasers and we come to a screeching halt,608516150 Or maybe the VR, AI and BOTS all team up and decide they and decide they want to run things.

Crazy? Maybe yes. Maybe no. I just get the feeling all this is like many of the things we take for granted or as pablum served up to us, has to be looked at more carefully. I am sure there are think tanks but at this breakneck speed we may never be able to get in front of it. Then again things will be so good we will probably not know what hit us.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids;

Facebook announced that their AI can ‘accurately reproduce’ the personalities and behaviours of 85% of their customers. Why do you think they make you type some random letters in to prove are human?

In January 2015, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and dozens of Artificial Intelligence experts signed an open letter on AI, calling for research on the societal impacts and urging researchers not to create something which cannot be controlled.There is a “Singularity Institute” dedicated to the creation of safe Artificial Intelligence

First time users of Virtual Reality have reported problems related to motion sickness and headaches. This is apparently because their minds are believing that they are moving around, while they are sitting static in a chair or a couch. It is fact that old people in nursing homes love VR. It takes the where they can’t go.

BOTS can be developed to deliver Fake News. They can create whole scenarios out of thin air and have you believing they are true. Just look at “The Donald”.

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