Liz McIntyre is an award-winning investigative writer and privacy activist with a flair for exposing corporate shenanigans and bureaucratic misdeeds. She addressed the latest concerns over human microchipping and related topics. Recently, there has been a proposal to chip athletes in order to record their movements and discourage cheating. McIntyre believes this crosses the line, and that no person should ever be forced to accept a tracking implant in order to fully participate in society. Chips injected into people are typically glass-encapsulated, and are tracked by reader devices that send a burst of energy to the chip, and receive data back.
There was also a proposal to chip the military-- Somark Innovations has developed biocompatible RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) ink that can be tattooed onto the body, and deciphered by readers. McIntyre recently started CAMCAT, Citizens Against Marking, Chipping, and Tracking, to educate the public about human tracking technology, and to encourage lawmakers to make protections for citizens. She also talked about her work for StartPage.com, a privacy-oriented search engine, that does not track user's data and queries.
In the latter half, author James Barrat discussed how corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI's Holy Grail -- human-level intelligence-- as well as the troubling question, who is regulating how this powerful technology will be used? The revolution of AI (artificial intelligence) is being fueled by the increased speed of computer chips, software advancements such as neural nets, and 'Big Data' (large amounts of computations that reveal patterns), he explained. "Automation and robotics and AI will create jobs," he continued, "but the jury is out on whether they'll create enough jobs for all the people that they'll render jobless."
Advanced machine intelligence raises interesting ethical issues, Barrat noted, such as does a driverless car decide to save the passenger or the people it might collide with in the event of an accident? While he doesn't believe that robots will team up to turn against humanity, he does foresee dangers in vast cognitive architectures which could develop behaviors that we can't anticipate. Regarding military applications, the UN has made a proposal to ban killer robots on battlefields. Non-profit organizations such as the Future of Life Institute are working to raise public awareness on AI, and encourage more transparency in the technology's development, he added.