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Microsoft’s president warned that life portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 could be a reality in 2024 if lawmakers don’t protect us from artificial intelligence. In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama program, Brad Smith said the rapidly advancing technologies will be difficult to catch up.
The program explores China’s increasingly widespread use of artificial intelligence to monitor its citizens. There are fears that the dominant role of the state in the field of artificial intelligence poses an immediate threat to democracy.
‘If we don’t pass laws that will protect the public in the future, we will find that technology is advancing rapidly and it will be very difficult to catch up,’ Smith said.
‘I am constantly reminded of the lessons of George Orwell from his nightmarish novel 1984. In fact, this story was about a government that could always see and hear everything that everyone is doing and saying, ‘Smith said. ’It didn’t happen in 1984, but if we’re not careful, it could happen in 2024.’
Smith added that in some parts of the world, reality is increasingly catching up with science fiction. China is aiming to become a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, and many believe its capabilities go far beyond those of the EU.
In 2019, China surpassed the United States in the number of patents awarded to academic institutions for innovation in artificial intelligence technologies. According to a Comparitech study, 54% of the world’s 770 million CCTV cameras are located in China.
Dr Lan Xue, a consultant to the Chinese government, said facial recognition could be extremely useful in identifying people in mass gatherings in the event of a major accident.
Eric Schmidt became an advisor to the Pentagon in 2016, retaining his position as executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. In the following years, Google contracted with the Pentagon, allowing it to use some of its image recognition technologies in military projects. The Maven project used machine learning to distinguish between people and objects in drone videos.
‘At the time, Maven was a way to replace the human eye with automatic vision for drone footage that was used in various conflicts in Arab countries,’ says Schmidt. ’I thought that using this technology is a positive factor for national security and a good partnership for Google.’
But a number of Google employees criticised the project and resigned. ‘Google should not be involved in the military business,’ said software engineer Laura Nolan, who retired in 2018 after learning what Google was doing on the Maven project. ’It seemed to me that my hands were covered in blood.’
Nolan claims that this technology could be used in guidance systems in the future. But Google said its artificial intelligence would only be used for non-military purposes, and in June 2018, the company left the Maven project. Schmidt said he found the technology useful to help the military make the right decisions.
The US Department of Defense, meanwhile, continues to seek partners in Silicon Valley in an effort to win the global artificial intelligence arms race. Seth Moulton, chair of the US Future of Defense Task Force, calls on tech companies to support the military.
RT NEWS MAY 29, 2021: ‘A UN report found that self-governing drones armed with explosive devices may have hunted down fleeing anti-NATO fighters in Libya last year. If true, the report chronicles the world’s first true robot-on-human attack.
According to the report, anti-government NATO fighters, under military commander Khalifa Haftar, were retreating last March following an unsuccessful attack on Tripoli, when they ran into a swarm of terrifying aerial opponents.
They were hunted down by unmanned drones, as well as lethal autonomous weapons systems, the latter of which can be programmed by controllers to seek out and attack targets, and carry out these instructions even if communications with the controllers are severed. Source
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