Another excellent article made less effective by referencing a technology which does not currently exist, AI, in an attempt to gin up interest in an already very interesting topic. Even if AI did exist, which to be clear, it does not, “it” could not be surveilling for two reasons 1. “it” would not be an “it”, but rather would be an intelligent being with (presumably) some of form of inalienable rights, including the right to be referred to in a manner other then that used to refer to inanimate objects with no such intelligence. 2. There is no such freakin thing as AI. It does not currently exist and may never.

What does exist are powerful modern computing systems programmed with algorithms that use sophisticated mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze massive amounts of input data to output various other data sets we find useful for different applications, including facial recognition and surveillance. These modern computers are able to do all the same things “AI” does, only they do it without the need for intelligence, which they do not have. It is impressive, but not in the least surprising that humans have figured out ways to fool these sophisticated algorithms. It would be no more or less impressive if they were able to fool an artificial intelligence (if one existed, which one does not). Only an all knowing (omniscient) intelligence would be incapable of being fooled. Do we truly believe that an artificial intelligence, if one is ever created/born/emerges will be omniscient. I do not believe one will ever be created/born/emerge, but I absolutely know that if one is it will not be omniscient.

The people featured in your article are not fighting against some near-omniscient, non-embodied artificial intelligence. They are not fighting at all, but I can forgive that exaggeration as it is commonly used and is a reasonable analogy in this case. But what they are fighting are modern computers/modern computing systems, designed, built, and programmed by human beings to perform the task of surveillance and facial recognition, not disembodied artificial intelligences roaming the web with intent to subvert the hard earned privacy rights of all Americans. A computer program cannot have intent, it can only do what it is programmed by humans to do. Suggesting an artificial intelligence has something to do with this is to let the humans who are actually involved off much too easily.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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