Everything Recorded Online About You Stays There Forever – Soon, This Could Even Extend To Your Memories
There’s a common saying that once something is on the internet, it stays on the internet. Consider how often political candidates have had something they said 10-20 years ago dredged up to discredit them. Think of all the Instagram “influencers” posting nudes every day, and imagine what they’re going to have to deal with 20 years from now when their kids find their videos on Pornhub. For that matter, head over to web archive right now and plug in whatever website you want to look at, and see what it looked like 20 years ago.
Welcome to the internet. Once something is online, it stays forever.
But nearly everything is online now. Do you use social media? Do you use professional networking sites like LinkedIn? What about dating sites? Oh, you’re very aware of these problems and so you’ve canceled all your accounts already? That’s nice. Did you use any of these things ten years ago before you knew any better? If so, then congratulations, your resume and your sexual preferences and all of those pictures you posted and all those snarky comments you made are all online, and will be forever. Even worse, it doesn’t even matter whether you personally posted these things, because other people will. Even if you’ve never had a Facebook account in your entire life, how many other people in your life do? How many times have your pictures been posted online without even knowing about it? How many companies have you submitted purely paper resumes to, that then scanned them and put them into an online database? What about your childhood pictures from before the web even existed? Those might find their way online if ten years from now somebody decides to scan them. You have no control over your data.
I’ve previously written that Privacy is Dead. But there are deeper implications here. Let’s look to the future.
Sooner or later there’s going to be a world-spanning artificial intelligence. Maybe it conquers the world and maybe it doesn’t, but either way it’s going to have access to the internet. Even your virtual assistant on your phone right now has access to the internet. It has to in order to do the things it does for you. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that future super intelligence will somehow be kept in a box in a lab somewhere. Everything that exists online today and most of everything that has ever existed online, will be available to that AI, and it won’t be difficult to correlate all the pieces to assemble a complete picture.
Don’t be surprised if someday you get a telephone call from an artificial intelligence that knows more about your life than you do.
But now let’s take a step off the deep end.
How Musk is Trying To Create Brain Interface Technology
Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is developing an injectable brain implant for the specific purpose of creating an “ultra-high bandwidth interface to connect humans and computers.” Why?
As Musk explains in the above video, the purpose of that connection is to create a symbiotic relationship with AI, because that’s what he sees as the best case scenario for the future. Better than becoming pets, anyway.
This is a billionaire talking. That’s his plan for humanity. And love it or hate it, some people are probably going to do it. Maybe lots of people. That means that sooner or later, not only will AI have access to everything on the internet, it will have direct access to human memory.
Maybe you never uploaded that one picture to social media. Maybe nobody recorded that conversation you had in a dark alley five years ago. Maybe you’ve faithfully kept that secret you promised you’d keep to your grave. But like the internet, you can’t remove events from your memory. Once it’s in a human brain, it stays there. And sooner or later, artificial intelligence is going to gain access to human brains.
Oh, you won’t get the implant? That’s nice.
Other people will.
Think of the most embarrassing thing in your entire life. Think of your most closely-guarded secret. Does anyone else know about it? Were you molested as a child thirty years ago? What happens if the molester gets the brain implant? What if a rapist gets it? What if your childhood friend that you haven’t seen in decades who helped you bury that body or that you smoked crack with just that one time…what if any of these people get the implant?
The moment they do, a full color video of the events that happened will be “on the internet” in the metaphorical hands of a very real artificial intelligence.
The day you get that phone call, remember…AI will know everything.