“…Future terrorism uses new digital technology and organisational structures in order to achieve its goal, affecting critical infrastructure. Which technologies pose the biggest threats? How can we protect ourselves digitally?”
Elise Thomas writes at Hopes & Fears:
"Right now, in a handful of computing labs scattered across the world, new software is being developed which has the potential to completely change our relationship with technology. Affective computing is about creating technology which recognizes and responds to your emotions. Using webcams, microphones or biometric sensors, the software uses a person's physical reactions to analyze their emotional state, generating data which can then be used to monitor, mimic or manipulate that person’s emotions."
"Corporations spend billions each year trying to build "authentic" emotional connections to their target audiences. Marketing research is one of the most prolific research fields around, conducting thousands of studies on how to more effectively manipulate consumers’ decision-making. Advertisers are extremely interested in affective computing and particularly in a branch known as emotion analytics, which offers unprecedented real-time access to consumers' emotional reactions and the ability to program alternative responses depending on how the content is being received.
For example, if two people watch an advertisement with a joke and only one person laughs, the software can be programmed to show more of the same kind of advertising to the person who laughs while trying different sorts of advertising on the person who did not laugh to see if it's more effective. In essence, affective computing could enable advertisers to create individually-tailored advertising en masse."
"Say 15 years from now a particular brand of weight loss supplements obtains a particular girl's information and locks on. When she scrolls through her Facebook, she sees pictures of rail-thin celebrities, carefully calibrated to capture her attention. When she turns on the TV, it automatically starts on an episode of "The Biggest Loser," tracking her facial expressions to find the optimal moment for a supplement commercial. When she sets her music on shuffle, it "randomly" plays through a selection of the songs which make her sad. This goes on for weeks.
Now let's add another layer. This girl is 14, and struggling with depression. She's being bullied in school. Having become the target of a deliberate and persistent campaign by her technology to undermine her body image and sense of self-worth, she's at risk of making some drastic choices."
Google Home, Amazon Echo, "smart" systems... terrifying invasive futures. Product exists as of 4th November, 2016 for US$129.
It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid screen culture is.
But now it's even parodying itself---in the way only the online spectacle can: by folding back into itself to keep us watching.
The problems and concerns, long since established, are all now just a big joke. Short attention spans. Superficial engagement with information. Advertising masquerading as content. The convergence of extremely powerful corporate empires that influence what we think, feel, and do, in a way never before possible. Distraction from the real world, while the real world burns.
The story of this first short is about the end of the world, and nobody even cares. Could that be any more close to home?
There's also a short about an "Uber for people," invoking the themes of exploitation, surveillance, and the enslavement-addiction to technological solutions that parodies the screen culture of today---especially the mindset of "apps fix all."
Can we see this as one thing in terms of another?
Likewise with, "Enter the Hive Mind."
What will you do, when it's time you're asked to put your whole self into the global computer even more completely than now? What is your personal threshold? Will you continue to "breathe life" into the machine?
Thanks for the link KMA.
"Ladies and gents, put down your technology and have more sex.
That's the advice from a team of scientists who found people are becoming so enveloped by their phone and tablets that their love lives are being put on the back burner.
So if you are one of those reading this on your smartphone in bed, a glance across the sheets is likely to reveal your partner is engrossed in theirs too.
The researchers discovered 70 per cent of women said smartphones were interfering in their romantic relationship.
The study said technology and the screens that consume us are creating 'technoference' in couples."
Compare to declining birth rate in Japan in this article here. Could there be a link?
"Various reasons have been cited for the population decline, including:
The rising cost of childbirth and child-raising
The increasing number of women in the workforce
The later average age of marriage
The increasing number of unmarried people
Changes in the housing environment and in social customs."