Showing posts with label Federal Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Government. Show all posts

Monday, February 29, 2016

Robots to Eventually Displace Human Workers. Why Go Along With It?

In a world where society is becoming more and more hostile to the idea of making a profit, I find it amazing that more of us don't passionately disagree with the elimination of human jobs by robotic, AI-driven systems of any kind.

Robotics, much like anything else, can be a good thing as well as a bad one. In a recent article published on the Nextgov website on February 26, 2016, the writer broached the subject of robotics in government and how there are many obstacles to this concept beginning with human acceptance of working along side of them.

Personally, I'm not a proponent of robotics, especially in government. When you read this Nextgov story, you will know why.

Managing the psychological impact of working with robots; “[T]here is an ongoing debate on the psychological consequences of military UAV pilots shooting at enemy targets thousands of miles away, while not being cognitively involved the same way aircraft pilots are,” the report says.
Just how bad is public acceptance?
According to the Nextgov article, "A 2015 survey in the U.K. found 43 percent of respondents would not trust an autonomous car to drive safely."
Frankly, I'm surprised that public acceptance is that high. The general public should know that the only reason why private or public sectors want to develop robots, which will ultimately operate under the control of an AI (Artificial Intelligent) intellect, is to "eliminate common workers," thus reducing long-term expenses associated with hiring humans.
"...the robots are actually rapidly gaining on us in one area: jobs.

"Research from Oxford University shows that almost half of today's jobs will be automated by the year 2034. This has dramatic implications for our workforce. And the impact is already being felt" (read it)

Chances are, you've already had a conversation or two with an AI over the phone as there are telemarketing systems designed around AI technology that can fool most of us into thinking we're talking to a real-live boy.
"Recently, Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer received a phone call from an apparently bright and engaging woman asking him if he wanted a deal on his health insurance. But he soon got the feeling something wasn't quite right.

"After asking the telemarketer point blank if she was a real person or a computer-operated robot, she chuckled charmingly and insisted she was real. Looking to press the issue, Scherer asked her a series of questions, which she promptly failed. Such as, "What vegetable is found in tomato soup?" To which she responded by saying she didn't understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained of a bad connection (ah, the oldest trick in the book)" (read it).

I've run into telemarketing AI's before. The first one, which belonged to a video movie production firm I commonly purchased movies from, began asking me questions and I began to get the feeling that something was wrong. When it asked me the ages of my grandchildren, I said something like "850 years and 900 years old." I knew it was an AI at that point because it continued asking me questions without missing a beat.

I'm all for making a profit, but eliminating human jobs is not my idea of a good way to do it. In a world where society is becoming more and more hostile to the idea of making a profit, I find it amazing that more of us don't passionately disagree with the elimination of human jobs by robotic, AI-driven systems of any kind.

As these AI platforms become more and more human-like, the complexity of the job for which they are designed will advance, displacing more and more people in the work force. One day, you may find yourself out of work due to the advancement of robotics and AI technologies.

Your thoughts on this? Send them to me via allan@wmml.info.

Al Colombo


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Report Outlines Extent to Which NSA is Spying on Society

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Spying has never been a pretty business. Those who do it for a living eventually accept it as a necessary evil. I suppose we should also--that is if we're really concerned about terrorism on this nation's soil.

With all of that said, however, it's obvious that there must be constraints in place that seek to prevent those who actively monitor society from misusing and abusing this technological power; and might I add that this tremendous power resides with the smallest of the small among those who work in the intelligence business.

Recently a report was released by the National Security Agency (NSA) that outlines its own spying activities.

The U.S. government on Friday for the first time released data on the scope of some of its most sensitive foreign intelligence-gathering efforts, saying that it had targeted nearly 90,000 foreign persons or organizations for surveillance through U.S. companies last year.

The release of the “transparency report,” issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, follows an order a year ago from President Obama to declassify and make public as much information as possible about certain sensitive surveillance programs.

Warrantless Wirepapping

One of the issues that sticks out when reading the Washington Post story is that of "warrantless" surveillance on the part of not only NSA but other intelligence-gathering entities across the board.

It was in 1952 when NSA was established. As part of the military establishment, NSA's mission then, as it still is today, is to affect surveillance against foreign targets to assure the integrity, security, and safety of these United States of America.

Limitations on how this is accomplished have been imposed on NSA over the years since its inception. This includes:

  • The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, passed in 1968 by the Congress.
  • Executive Order 12036, effected by President Carter in 1978 that acts to prevent "electronic surveillance directed against a United States person abroad or designed to intercept a communication sent from, or intended for receipt within, the United States except as permitted by the procedures established pursuant to section 2-201".
  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), also passed in 1978.
  • In 2001, the passage of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which established clear standards for how telecommunications providers are to provide wiretapping information to government (The Implications of the Digital Telephony Act of 1994).
  • Also in 2001, John Yoo, former George W. Bush administration official, essentially gives the president authority to approve anti-terrorism tactics, including warrantless wiretapping.
  • A year later, in 2002, President Bush authorized NSA to conduct warrantless wiretaps on both foreign concerns and U.S. citizens in country through a secret executive order.
  • About a year later President Bush disclosed the existence of his secret wiretapping program to the Congress and later in the year the New York Times publishes a story that informed the public of its existence.
  • Etc...

In Conclusion

One of the reasons why all of this wiretapping is necessary is the openness of this nation. We let any Tom, Dick, or Mary enter through air travel and for the past two decades we're trying to affect "reasonable immigration laws" that essentially seek to negate common sense by allowing, again, every Tom, Dick, and Mary to cross the U.S./Mexican border w/o any meaningful rules and regulations.

Until this nation get serious about buttoning up our border and limiting air travel entry to only those who really need it, I won't believe for one moment that any of this makes sense. How can you seriously tell the general public with a straight face that all that can be done is being done by way of anti-terrorist tactics when you allow the Southern border to remain open?

The bottom line here is this: the Federal Gov't must enforce its own border laws before it can be taken seriously.


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Friday, June 6, 2014

The "Open Data" Movement Takes Off

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Although the "open data" movement may be new to most of us, it began in 2009.

"At least 39 states and 46 cities and counties have created open-data sites since the federal government, Utah, California and the cities of San Francisco and Washington, D.C., began opening data in 2009, according to the federal site, Data.gov" (Source: http://www.govtech.com/data/Open-Data-Is-Open-for-Business.html).

What does open data do for cities, the federal gov, and commercial concerns?

"Open-data advocates, such as President Barack Obama’s former information chief Vivek Kundra, estimate a multibillion-dollar industry can be spawned by taking raw government data files on sectors such as weather, population, energy, housing, commerce or transportation and turn them into products for the public to consume or other industries to pay for.

"They can be as simple as mobile phone apps identifying every stop sign you will encounter on a trip to a different town, or as intricate as taking weather and crops data and turning it into insurance policies farmers can buy" (Source: http://www.govtech.com/data/Open-Data-Is-Open-for-Business.html).

Let's all ponder the potential here. The question in my mind is "how much data of a personal nature is included in these data depositories being published online for enterprising people and others to utilize for whatever end they so desire?"

Want to do some research or some simple reading on open data? Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Data.


For personal security information and products,
visit www.OhioHootOwl.com.

Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

Subscribe

Be sure not to miss each and every blog comment by subscribing to my email service. Every time I publish a comment or an update, you will be the first to know. To sign up, enter your email address in the email subscription box on the top right of this page. Thank you! To contact Al Colombo, click here.