Big brother is a very fine fellow. You can trust him.

Big brother is a very fine fellow. You can trust him.

by digby

This is a disturbing article about Michal Kosinski one of the scientists preparing our brave new world. (You may recall that he's a big part of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy.)

He has an algorithm that he says can tell by a picture if someone is gay (which seems absurd and creepy) but he's obviously very influential in all this new propaganda strategies that are forming around social media. It's disturbing. Here's one little excerpt:

The aim of his research, Kosinski says, is to highlight the dangers. Yet he is strikingly enthusiastic about some of the technologies he claims to be warning us about, talking excitedly about cameras that could detect people who are “lost, anxious, trafficked or potentially dangerous. You could imagine having those diagnostic tools monitoring public spaces for potential threats to themselves or to others,” he tells me. “There are different privacy issues with each of those approaches, but it can literally save lives.”
Kosinski seems unperturbed by the furore over Cambridge Analytica, which he feels has unfairly maligned psychometric micro-targeting in politics. “There are negative aspects to it, but overall this is a great technology and great for democracy,” he says. “If you can target political messages to fit people’s interests, dreams, personality, you make those messages more relevant, which makes voters more engaged – and more engaged voters are great for democracy.” But you can also, I say, use those same techniques to discourage your opponent’s voters from turning out, which is bad for democracy. “Then every politician in the US is doing this,” Kosinski replies, with a shrug. “Whenever you target the voters of your opponent, this is a voter-suppression activity.”

Kosinski’s wider complaint about the Cambridge Analytica fallout, he says, is that it has created “an illusion” that governments can protect data and shore up their citizens’ privacy. “It is a lost war,” he says. “We should focus on organising our society in such a way as to make sure that the post-privacy era is a habitable and nice place to live.”

Right. Let's have a nice, habitable Panopticon, shall we?

I don't think humans can be fully human without privacy. But I'm old school.