Even Algorithms have Parents.
“No Humans required”. The statement, in creeping distant, came as a blow to the mobile workforce. We had it so good, then it all changed when A.I. sunk its teeth into every conceivable so-called “protected job”.
Politicians felt Health, Law, and Social Care would be best reserved for sentients with empathy, but somehow Tech-scapers had lobbied for an alternative. Empathy after all from bio-tech was programmable. Robots don’t need a soul to be kind and understanding.
Former Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said A.I. was a threat to humans, but no one listened. But his point about “What happens to pensions of retired humans when the majority of current workers are robots who earn nothing?” was pressing and never addressed.
People programme computers. A.I. has parents. Remember the debacle over the haar cascades and its flaw for not being able to detect “black faces”. The Verge wrote “Facial recognition software is biased towards white men, researcher finds”; New York Times chronicled “Facial Recognition Is Accurate, if You’re a White Guy”; and MIT stated Facial recognition software is biased towards white.
#IBMThink, London. At gatherings like this, the world as it’s hoped envelops that world as is — 2018 vs 2028. Pandora’s box of tech is a veritable glitzy number and getting drunk on bits and bytes — a name for a new alcohol perhaps? — is the norm.
If this quantumly wired world is everything it’s being made out to be, then never mind the disruption of enlightenment or industrial revolution when at least wo/man power was required, this is beyond comprehension.
The narrative being pushed is that we’ve got it covered. Really!
I’m a journalist, technologists and academic and I reserve my scary face for comms, journalism, storytelling in particular. In 2028, I won’t be writing this. There’s no need. An avatar that looks either like me, or ranked “an attractive substitute” will project this text via holograms, Civeo ( an amalgam of cinematic and video) or the outernet — a system that knits a cacophony of software together — which I first spoke about on Apple’s website.
In the evergreen abundance of information, in 2016, we launched a Masters programme that took a design-thinking approach to journalism and storytelling.
The metric to storytelling was problem-solving. Yes, as we speak A.I. is already making inroads into journalism via machine language-driven websites or the next, next, thing taxing present journalism conferences, speech. Hence the challenge is not to what I would call “causal journalism”, which like cause and effect has a natural predictable outcome. Bots will do that without fail.
No, the challenge is what might be a re-textualisation of Christopher Hitchens alternative journalism in a world where haar cascades have shown that the parents of algorithms needed to be monitored.
The alternative equates to an after-techmodernism. Hitchen’s himself was nothing if not unpredictable. As one presentation at IBMthink aptly put it, focus on the problem and seek out variable creative alternative.
It’s 1995 and I’m working for one of the most advanced TV stations in the world. As you watch me below introduce something called the web from my colleague, the camera, autocue and news item that follows, is all automated — a one man operation which would herald the future.
More would follow. In 2005 pitted against world media, such as CNN and Newsweek, I would win the Knight Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism, creating a website that streamed video when YouTube was not gestated code. Then, sites like F1 the first video site, Rocketboom and Metacafe prepped the future.
Today, ambitions for innovation continue unabated. Working with IBM, we’re realising a world in which storytelling gobbles up the conventions of journalism. A soon-to-be realised project analyses data from interviews to show some engaging findings.
In 2028 will there be such a thing as journalism? Who knows, but it will operate as nothing you might see from staged press conferences and causal outcomes, not when we need fresh philosophies for truth, understanding spin, and debunking psycho warfare of politicians.
Today I listened to the radio of our national broadcaster and an MP arguing for the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans, squeezed the phrase “focus” and “Theresa May” into almost every retort to the presenter’s questions. Not once did the presenter attempt to unveil the 4th wall.
In the US, on the WH lawns, Trump delivers another crafted anti-bite for the cameras, who are only too glad to to keep their engines running. In 2028, as we’re training a generation now, journalists with knowledge of behavioural theory, neuroscience, nudge theory and depth manipulation will be in demand, equipped to boot with business and entrepreneurial skills.
The image at the top portends what we envisage — Integration. If multimedia was about the collapse of media boundaries, the future must be a symbiosis of machine and sentient, but to make that happen we’re going to have to more vigilant with tech as never before.
Tune in to the future series, coming soon from me, Dr David Dunkley Gyimah from the Cardiff School of Journalism. 1.20 sec video.
*Even Algorithms have Parents was a phrase from speaker Terry Cordeiro from Lloyds Banking Group at #IBMthink
To contact Dr David Dunkley Gyimah here @viewmagazine His background here.