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The next *BIG* thing: AI + facial recognition

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by Susan Addams, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Left Coast Fiscal Conservative

    I had meant to write this piece a few days ago when I was researching it, having been piqued by an advertisement on a financial article I was reading, you know like one of those teasers that ends up sucking up your time and ends with you having to subscribe to read the punch line. I passed that by but did a bit of my own research. Oh, here's the punch line up front: The next big thing is artificial intelligence and the manufacturers of AI chips and the technology used for AI. The signal is to buy them. Anybody who knows finance and Google can get the list, no need to subscribe to their stupid report.

    But it got me thinking. Here is just one scenario and we're almost there:

    Everybody on Facebook is shooting all their pictures and posting them on the Internet. Facebook has access to every one of those pictures, and Facebook knows who you are because they won't allow anonymous accounts. They know who your friends and associates are and you probably posted their pictures too. It's child's play for them to calculate degrees of separation between any two individuals, even people who are not on Facebook. Do you have any friends on FB? Do you even know who is on it and who is not? Did they take a picture of you? You don't know, right? I bet chances are that most people have their pictures on FB whether they know it or not.

    Let's move on to cameras. Just how many stores and other commercial establishments have TV cameras? How many banks? (LOL, just kidding around, EVERY bank has many cameras.) How about major city intersections? Check 'em out next time you go for a drive. Some cities have 'em, some don't. At any major intersection examine the various poles and signage and everything and look for the cameras. There will likely be at least 4 cameras, one pointing each of the 4 directions so as to capture all events in that intersection. Where does the feed go? Nobody I've discussed it with knows. Why are they there? I've never seen any explanation. And how many private parties have their own TV cameras. I have three of them: one Ring door bell camera, walk up to my front door and I know you are there, even if I am across the city shopping. I have two Amazon Cloud Cams, one pointing front and the other back. If I expect to be away for significant time I turn the back camera around for a view of my living room. Ordinarily I leave the motion detection off but I can turn it on and if anybody is in my condo I'll know it... even if I'm across the continent checking out my new digs. — My point is that there are cameras everywhere, public, private, commercial, governmental and who knows?

    Let's examine the final brick: AI. This one is stupid simple. Technological devices are learning how to teach themselves. Companies are poised on this new technology and have reached a critical point of moving from theoretical to practical. Just think about Amazon's wildly popular Alexa voice enabled home control system. Who saw this coming a year ago? (BTW I consider Alexa to be a big factor in Amazon's huge stock value increases.) If you are following where I am leading then you probably realize that if the assumption is true (that AI is about to get totally practical, and cheap!) then you know that very soon huge amounts of computational capacity is going to become available.

    This is the scenario: Facebook has countless images of practically everybody. We (the public) supplied the pictures. The more images the better, catch pictures of your face from all different angles. The more shots the easier it is to match. We got TV cameras all over too. All you need to do is connect the three things: (1) image database with names identified, (2) huge TV camera network, and (3) enough computational power to match the live shots to the stored database.

    That's right, say goodbye to your personal privacy unless you are inside your own home. You've heard about how our Internet usage is getting tracked by Google and everybody else (more and more of what I buy is known by Amazon). It is highly logical that Facebook can and will sell your privacy to anybody who has the money to pay for the data. You know that's why there are supermarket "reward" cards. They aren't rewarding you. They are tracking your purchases. If you don't want to be tracked you pay higher grocery prices. You have to pay for your privacy with higher prices and pay with cash. Only that doesn't work any more because the supermarket has cameras all over and they can buy the data on who you are from Facebook or any other tracking service. The Alphabet companies (Google et al.) will be in that business too. It's no secret that Google reads and analyzes your every Gmail sent/received. Do you remember what you said? I don't. It's pervasive, the new technology amounts to an assault on our privacy, and you know it's going to be successful because it will be profitable and that's what corporations do: they mine profit.

    So you see the supermarket doesn't really need your "rewards" card to track you. They'll know who you are the minute you walk into their store, they'll know every aisle you cruised, what you looked at, what you picked up and put back. Another thing, Amazon already has a trial store going: Amazon Go. You grab a shopping cart and load it up with whatever you want to buy, then bypass any cashiers and go directly to your car and load it up with your stuff. If you are a nice person you will return the shopping cart to a kiosk, thank you.

    Well you reached the end of my article and this is me summing it up. A year from now we will be reminiscing about the good old days when we used to have this thing called privacy. Yeah, sure, we have a Constitutional right to our privacy. Just one thing, the Constitution governs what the government can/can't do, not what private entities can/can't do. By a year from today your every move in public will be bought and sold and your public life is owned. There is nothing you can do about it, it's going to happen.

    Oh yes, the financial element. It's time to get in on the ground floor of the new technology by buying AI company stock. If your privacy is going to be bought and sold anyway, you might as well have a piece of the action! :) I'm thinking now which companies I should consider buying, which stocks. Let's discuss.
  2. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Left Coast Fiscal Conservative

    Just to add (I don't want to edit my OP) I should have posted my piece when I conceived it, a few days ago. I had a look at the page I Googled up "Amazon Go" and further down the page, this:

    Engadget: AiFi replicates Amazon Go's checkout-free shopping in any store:

    Tech Crunch: AiFi emerges from stealth with its own take on cashier-free retail, similar to Amazon Go:
    They trust their technology enough to let you pick up stuff in their store and take it directly to your car, bypassing any cashiers.

    LOL, I just realized something. They've obsoleted the crime of shoplifting while at the same time obsoleting our privacy! Walk into a store and pick something up and leave the store, it will appear on your credit card statement! :)

    There isn't any difference between shopping and shoplifting any more. There's just shopping and shopping.
  3. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Casinos have been using facial recognition with their CCTV cameras for nearly a decade now.
  4. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    I'm not holding my breath about Alexa...

  5. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Left Coast Fiscal Conservative

    That's pretty funny Mark! :) I was worried about the possibility of YouTube audio being detected by my own Alexa so I muted it. However when I played one of the choices after the current 'Tube the next video "Never Ask Alexa These Questions" and it triggered my LR Dot while I am in my den. I actually had to quit watching that video half way through.

    As far as your video, that is dead on! If Alexa doesn't like the tone of my voice it gets fractious. Or sometimes some odd audio just sets it off. All I can say is don't put all the lights in any room all on Alexa. Best idea is to have one wall switch operated light that you can manually flip.

    Alexa works surprisingly well although it has a few quirks. Fortunately software updates will correct many of the problems and improve performance in the future. The next generation will have more local intelligence according to Amazon sources.
  6. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    You didn't get the pun... :(

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