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The World We Live In ~ Part 2

Welcome to the Blog  ~ number 10 and the final in our first series for 2021’s first quarter.

We will be starting up Series 2 – also with 10 podcasts and blogs, on June 1 and have more discussions and interviews with thought leaders around how technology shapes our lives.

Artificial intelligence … This is machine learned “thinking” that are programmed algorithms to make highly advanced software determinations in fractions of seconds.

Here is one of the things that has me do a sit and think … We have become so used to hearing the phrase “it’s says so on the computer” … it concerns me how much credence we have all given to an inanimate object.

Are computers here to stay?  It’s most likely they are – failing some massive electromagnetic wave pulsing mechanism that covers the globe and takes down all the servers and switches ,… but I’ve only seen that fantasy on Star Trek – so yes it is my view that in my life time and many generations to come these bits and bytes machines are running allot of how we interact with the each other and the world.

What impact are all those AI algorithms having on our lives?

Large conglomerates are responsible for the direction that the programmes take… How is our data manipulated and cycled back to us as specific topics, advertisements or how others interact with us?

An excellent example of this is In the the most recent article of the science based journal Phys.Org– written by Emily Storz of Drexell University.

In an interview with Dr. Kelly Joyce, a Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Science, Technology and Society Dr. Joyce notes this “The coronavirus pandemic has sped up the use of AI and automation to replace human workers, as part of the effort to minimize the risks associated with face-to-face interactions.”1.

She expands on that thought by noting that “Increasingly we are seeing examples of algorithms that are intensifying existing inequalities. As institutions such as education, healthcare, warfare, and work adopt these systems, we must remediate this inequity.” 1.

Let’s look at a life example that is relevant to headlines today ….

AI practitioners may not be aware that data about X (e.g., ZIP codes, health records, location of highways) may also be data about Y (e.g., class, gender, race inequalities, or socioeconomic status),” said Joyce, who is the lead author of this study.

“They may think, for example, that ZIP codes are a neutral piece of data that apply to all people in an equal manner instead of understanding that ZIP codes often also provide information about race and class due to segregation.

This lack of understanding has resulted in the acceleration and intensification of inequalities as Machine Learning systems are developed and deployed.”

“Identifying correlations between vulnerable groups and life chances, AI systems accept these correlations as causation, and use them to make decisions about interventions going forward. In this way, AI systems do not create new futures, but rather replicate the durable inequalities that exist in a particular social world,” explains Joyce 1.

We as a society, have allot to understand about how every key stroke of our data is being used.  With such examples of those by Dr. Joyce, we need to all start to have more comprehensive opinions on how and why this technology is being used on our behalf.

As I’ve said before, this is the goal the website forum and our podcast entitled Tea and Tech.   The education of ourselves and others We want to gather together and discuss how we can help and shape the tech world going forward. What do we want our world and that of our children’s world to be.

This topic is as massive as all the conduit fibre tying us together!!

Stay tuned here for more Blog news ~ Please post your thoughts on our forum … we are excited to have honest conversations around all of this – and see you in Series two on June 1 2021 as we do just that!


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