Next Thursday mariner plans to upgrade his eyeglass prescription. He is undecided about whether to tune them to Dish or DirecTV or Roku; so many options . . . His bridgework is due for an upgrade, too. Should he include the health monitoring package? Which hospital? . . . My dog is having a chip implant so mariner always knows where the dog is; mariner plans to have an implant as well so the dog, among others, always knows where mariner is.
Someone suggested an imbedded mood chip that automatically dispenses an antidepressant. That is depressing – how about a chip that helps with sex? Mariner has joined a clothier website that sells chip-embedded clothing. Integrated with his weather app and his appointment calendar, it buys his clothes and each day picks his outfits. As to what to eat for breakfast, a meal is set out based on his key nutritional KPIs (such as hydration, body mass, and hemoglobin levels) recorded from that health option in his teeth. Mariner is not sure the dog cares about that. To drive to work, make sure to fasten your seatbelt. That’s all you need to do; the car drives its self and knows where you are going because it is integrated with your appointment…. There is a keyring bauble that can locate one’s cellphone no matter where it is – usually at home when travelling. As to locating one’s smartphone, it’s the other way around: the smartphone always knows where you are.
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Writing recently about how humans can wage war with telecommunications, mariner became interested in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Chicken Little already has fled to the basement to build a lead-lined safe room. We are familiar with the servant robots that sauntered about on the Jetsons; we are aware of robotic machinery in factories; we are aware of desktop functions like editing, faxing and checking out Facebook. We are aware that businesses like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, et al, know our every move, taste, income, political preference, when we will buy an automobile and what model – more than you know yourself. AI has invaded our bodies and our brains or, in other arenas, makes better decisions than human brains. This is scary stuff!
For the moment, humans are not entombed in coffins at birth as depicted in Matrix. But AI technology is well on its way to living your life for you. A new phenomenon called ‘fake news’ has emerged. We are susceptible to fake news because we no longer live in a human-based sphere of empirical knowledge. For many, the existential reality is hundreds of TV channels that have no foundation in a person’s empirical reality. This includes television news as well as many fabricated websites on the Internet.
Searching for meaningful truth, we defend ourselves with ‘truthiness,’ Stephen Colbert’s invented word that says truth is what feels right, not what facts say truth is. Mariner visited Facebook for a few weeks. Facebook is an alternative reality which sits at the center of life experience for active participants. The smartphone is the portal through which we give our sense of self away to the AI world. At some point, AI will know enough about you to replicate you in an AI world. At that point, it may be time to pick out a coffin.
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Before closing his post, mariner asks that we pause to honor the passing of Fats Domino. He died Tuesday at the age of 89.
Before closing his post, mariner urges every reader to contact their Congressman to press for impeachment. The Donald phenomenon is no longer about compensating for a King complex; it is about stopping a brutal, unnecessary war, perhaps nuclear, with North Korea. Removing Donald is the only way to unplug a tragic and imminent future.