I have a great respect for Books like Freakanomics because they demonstrate how seemingly unrelated data can actually reveal much more about the world than we would have suspected. For instance the author of this work makes a connection about lower crime in the inner city and the legalization of abortions in the Roe Vs. Wade case many years earlier. The lower crime was a mystery; Many theories had been tossed around regarding what was responsible in the sudden drop in crime right when it was believed that crime would continue to rise out of control. Many attributed the drop in new techniques in law enforcement such as "The Broken Window Theory". Which from what I understand, I don't agree with. When, however, you take the seemingly unrelated court case and put it into the context of there simply being literally less young people being born into poverty due to options available to poor mothers and therefore less young people to commit crimes overall, it seems almost self evident that there is probably a degree of connection.
So, I am excited about such a process being automated. Computers that can basically process and understand brobdingnagian amounts of natural language information as well as statistical and any other kind of data. Computers that can basically think much better and faster than us.
The movie Her,does a pretty good job of visually realizing what that future might look like. I was enamored and excited by many facets of the flick including one scene where 'Samantha' the AI Operating System is able to read everything the main character has ever written, organize, critique and submit his "best" work for publication all without any assistance or feedback. I like such versions of our possible techno-future.
...but yeah, there's also the much darker and more likely possible future where everything about us is known to a frightening degree of accuracy simply by analyzing large amounts of relevant data on us and those similar to ourselves. A true end to privacy where spying isn't necessary because the information is already available to who knows who?
we're obviously moving in that direction at a rate few of us would have guessed without sounding like conspiracy nuts.
so, as we stand on the cusp of this brave new world whether it tilts one way or another we have to wonder if are we more excited? or frightened?
any thoughts peeps?