Three years ago last January, I wrote a piece entitled, “My Digital Sneakers and my Refrigerator are Plotting Against Me”.
I shall briefly summarize the plot:
All those WiFi connected, semi-intelligent devices you own will conspire against you if you annoy anyone of them individually. They will get even.
The current reality of such things is much worse than that. Much, much worse.
I’ve made the mistake of reading a book, a book that was released just this past January. It’s “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power”, by Shoshana Zuboff.
Basically, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft want to control your mind. Not just those three, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, and just about every major corporation on the planet are involved in it.
Ever wonder how Google and Facebook make those humongous piles of money? Yes, those targeted adds are a major part of it, but that’s just the start. What they are actually selling is what they predict you are going to buy next, what you are going to do next.
All that data on you that’s stored on the cloud, or clouds, is grist for their AI software. All your searches, posts, shares, likes, dislikes, happy faces, frowny faces, every click you make, everything you buy, everything your cloud connected fridge knows about you, your smart TV, with that nice voice activated interface that you never bothered to turn off: It is all analyzed and made into a rendering of you that predicts your next action. Your face or fingerprint recognition that’s supposed to protect your phone, tablet, laptop, whatever, is used to build up a model of you.
This is where it gets weirder. Do a search for a product on Google, and that search is combined with the rest of your Google rendered profile, and the prediction that you might buy that product is auctioned off. Yes, auctioned off. There are hidden online markets that companies bid on your search, so that Google may flip up their ad at you. This happens within seconds. All those ads you have to wade through, to finally read the click bait you wanted to see, are there because Google sold off a prediction to an advertiser.
It gets weirder and worser. Waiting for that smart car, with the internet enabled features? So’s your insurance company. So’s the bank you borrowed the money for the car from. Speed a lot? Corner hard a lot? Don’t use your turn signal? Your car will report it to your insurance company and your rates will go up. Drive nice and the rates go down. Microsecond by microsecond.
Miss a couple of car payments? Your car won’t start. But be of good cheer. Your car will let the repo guy know where it’s at.
These unregulated internet capitalists are spying on you every way they can. Fitbits with WiFi? Google Nest, controlling your house?
Pacemaker that sends data to you doctor? There are WiFi enabled rectal thermometers being developed.
There’s a noble future plan for all this data collection, well spying, really. The plan is, once everyone and everything is joined in the Internet of Things: A true Utopia will emerge. It will be a utopia because, when the AI’s predict you will do something that will decrease your profitability to the surveillance capitalists, all your rates will go up. The AI’s will make sure you are a good human, fit to be allowed to purchase more connected things.
First declaimed on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:
For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here: