I think one thing we've seen with events in Europe over the past year, is that putting millions of people out of work just isn't politically practicable in democratic systems. This means that there will inevitably be brakes on technological developments which threaten that result.
There were probably only a couple of hundred Luddites. More easily suppressed.
Well, the only way that would work would be if you required by law and vigorous enforcement that all recording devices follow those rules. I think history shows that government interference into personal technology doesn't serve consumers well at all. People who don't like this rule will just acquire cameras which don't follow it.
I think a better course might be algorithms that intelligently know what to mask when people other than the original creator view them online. This would allow the person who made the recording to still be able to view everything that he already saw.
Obviously that won't work for Glass v1.0.
I still don't think there's any good way to properly protect our current concepts of privacy.
First, if I didn't make it clear enough in my piece I will now: I think that AR technology will majorly disrupt personal privacy of all sorts. I totally think I will be uncomfortable with this as will just about everyone currently older than 25 or so. I'm also pretty sure that as the devices become nearly universally adopted, society will trade our old ideas about privacy for the benefits we will reap from AR.
Second, if you feel insulted because you think I've called you a Neo-Luddite, then I apologize. I know that the original Luddites had their jobs replaced by technological innovations and I expect the same thing, on a much larger scale to accelerate in the next 10 years, putting tens of millions or more Americans out of work. I don't think this is a good thing, but I don't think that halting or slowing technological progress is the proper response. I don't know what the proper response is. It will be a very challenging time.
Third, I share your concerns about people using Google Glass while they drive! I certainly wouldn't condone that at all. As you suggest, though, I don't think it will be very long until distracted driving will no longer be a concern. I expect almost complete adoption of robotic vehicles in less than 20 years.
Fourth, I would like to see a link to a study showing that dependence on calculators is making the United States less competitive. [My son is only 16, but he and his peers certainly had to memorize the multiplication tables in 2nd or 3rd grade in public school and are still expected to do their calculations on paper by hand, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.] I'm going to guess that people with calculators (or computers) can compute numbers in a spreadsheet much faster than folks doing the math by hand. The bulk of humanity is already beyond the point of no return as dependency on technology is concerned.
Fifth, as far as ownership of the video created by future AR devices? I think most people will ultimately decide to stream their lives publicly and ownership questions will seem distant and quaint. It's not really a major concern for me, though I admit it will be challenging to adopt this mindset for myself.
Technology is very disruptive and our society is going through and will continue going through unprecedented changes due to the ever accelerating nature of technology. We will have very challenging times in the next few decades, but I still firmly believe that halting or slowing the progression of technology is either impossible or undesirable.
I don't mean to ridicule the Neo-Luddites, especially not the ones who want to offer a voice of more conservative reason. I gladly admit that I'm a pretty hardcore optimist.
if "AR" stands for "Asinine Ridicule", that is. I'm sorry you either don't understand that technological innovations often have very real costs to humanity or aren't interested in listening to people who try to weigh costs and benefits properly, but I don't appreciate being condescended to.
The quality of historical understanding and analysis in this piece is best illustrated by this paragraph:
Why do I think society will adopt mature AR gadgets with an enthusiasm surpassing the way it adopted microwaves, DVD players, smartphones, tablets, and just about every other human invention to date? Why will people willingly give away their privacy?
Would you care to explain how either the microwave oven or the DVD player qualify as an invasion of privacy? Someone who had any interest in exploring the issue with care-- rather than using a flamethrower on strawmen-- might have chosen the camera, the telephone, fingerprinting and the social security number.
In 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "driver distraction" (people talking on cellphones or or texting while driving) accounted for 18 percent of all fatal crashes (3,092 deaths) or crashes resulting in an injury (416,000 wounded).
That's an effect that anyone who understood human behavior could have predicted, and it is why many people (whom you ridicule as "Neo-Luddites") called for laws prohibiting cellphone use in moving cars when they became affordable. We still don't have those laws on the books, as the data clearly demonstrates, and there will be thousands of people killed, millions injured and trillions spent on medical care for preventable injuries until we do.
What impact do you imagine that a technology that can project movies onto your pupils will have on traffic fatalities? How do you propose to deal with it? Or do you just assume we'll all have self-driving cars, so we won't need any laws?
You assume, clearly, that you'll own those recordings you make with your glasses. Since the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association just asked Congress to require wireless providers to store all text messages for a two year period, that seems rather naive. Do you imagine employers won't require access to that data, while you're on the clock, so they can monitor your productivity?
A mroe prosaic issue: What impact, pray tell, do you imagine that these glasses will have on the "revenge porn" industry? Or should we all just get used to having our sex lives posted online if the relationship ends badly?
The issue isn't whether we should halt progress-- it's how do we manage the adoption of technology to ensure we gain more than we lose? That discussion isn't helped by people who spew abuse that isn't supported by anything other than their utopian imagination.
Case in point. The pocket calulator was a wonderful thing. But the ability to calculate anything at any time led schools to eliminate rote memorization of multiplication tables. That lack of practice led to a decline in math skills... which makes the US less competitive with societies that still require it.
Given that example, is having more information at our 'eyetips' likely to augment our ability to think or diminish it? Will having algorithms issuing a constant stream of guesses and corretions improve critical thinking and intuition? Or will it simply enable more "damnyouautocorrect.com" sites filled with scenes like this?
The original Luddites, by the way. were skilled weavers who worried that mechanized looms would destroy their ability to earn a good living, because they would be replaced by unskilled, low-paid laborers. That's precisely what did happen.
One can argue that society gained much more from having inexpensive clothing than it lost from the destruction of the craft unions. But turning the people who correctly realized that their lifestyles were about to be destroyed into a pejorative for "benighted yahoos" is infuriating.
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