Facebook Announces It Will Use A.I. To Scan Your Thoughts "To Enhance User Safety"

A mere few years ago the idea that artificial intelligence (AI) might be used to analyze and report to law enforcement aberrant human behavior on social media and other online platforms was merely the far out premise of dystopian movies such as Minority Report, but now Facebook proudly brags that it will use AI to "save lives" based on behavior and thought pattern recognition. 

What could go wrong?

The latest puff piece in Tech Crunch profiling the apparently innocuous sounding "roll out" of AI (as if a mere modest software update) "to detect suicidal posts before they're reported" opens with the glowingly optimistic line, "This is software to save lives" - so who could possibly doubt such a wonderful and benign initiative which involves AI evaluating people's mental health? Tech Crunch's Josh Cronstine begins:

This is software to save lives. Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to flag worrisome posts to human moderators instead of waiting for user reports, Facebook can decrease how long it takes to send help.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long hinted that his team has been wrestling with ways to prevent what appears to be a disturbingly increased trend of live streamed suicides as well as the much larger social problem of online bullying and harassment. One recent example which gained international media attention was a bizarre incident out of Turkey, where a distraught father shot himself on Facebook Live after announcing that his daughter was getting married without his permission. Though the example actually demonstrates the endlessly complex and unforeseen variables involved in human decision making and the human psyche - in this case notions of rigid Middle East cultural taboos and stigma clearly played a part - Tech Crunch holds it up as something which AI could possibly prevent.

Earlier this year Zuckerberg wrote in a public post that “There have been terribly tragic events - like suicides, some live streamed - that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner... Artificial intelligence can help provide a better approach.” And in a post yesterday announcing the new AI suicide prevention tool integration, he wrote that “In the future, AI will be able to understand more of the subtle nuances of language, and will be able to identify different issues beyond suicide as well, including quickly spotting more kinds of bullying and hate.”

Naturally, we must ask: what does Mark mean by the eerily ambiguous reference to "we will be able to identify different issues beyond suicide as well.."?

With the debate already long raging about how "bullying and hate" gets interpreted and labelled, and with multiple high profile instances of such accusations being used to censor and limit constitutionally protected speech, Zuckerberg now "reassures" us that we can place such sensitive and highly interpretive questions in the hands of machines. Tech Crunch awkwardly tries to preempt such obvious (and horrifying) concerns while ultimately concluding "we have little choice" but to embrace it and "hope Facebook doesn't go too far":

The idea of Facebook proactively scanning the content of people’s posts could trigger some dystopian fears about how else the technology could be applied. Facebook didn’t have answers about how it would avoid scanning for political dissent or petty crime, with Rosen merely saying “we have an opportunity to help here so we’re going to invest in that.” There are certainly massive beneficial aspects about the technology, but it’s another space where we have little choice but to hope Facebook doesn’t go too far.

Unembarrassed by such an assertion, author Josh Cronstine further includes the following update: "Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos responded to these concerns with a heartening tweet signaling that Facebook does take seriously responsible use of AI." And Cronstine follows with some not very "heartening" news - though his agenda is clearly to shove Facebook's social vision of a future benign AI monitoring technology which regulates and enforces social "norms" down the public's collective throat. It what itself sounds like a dystopian phrase worthy of Skynet, we are further told "you will not opt out!"

Unfortunately, after TechCrunch asked if there was a way for users to opt out, of having their posts a Facebook spokesperson responded that users cannot opt out. They noted that the feature is designed to enhance user safety, and that support resources offered by Facebook can be quickly dismissed if a user doesn’t want to see them.

And if this is not enough to turn the public's stomach, the glowing review ends by again reasserting Facebook's "responsibility" to implement its AI tools, as "Creating a ubiquitous global communication utility comes with responsibilities beyond those of most tech companies, which Facebook seems to be coming to terms with." Essentially, the familiar argument goes, the public should just "trust us" as this is for our "safety" and we are benign and humanitarian, says Facebook. 

Ironically as Facebook continues to tout its claims of protecting democracy by taking steps to "ensure the integrity of elections" as Zuckerberg has frequently stated, it will now actively and openly pursue an AI regulated future which, as Elon Musk has personally warned Zuckerberg, will likely be the very source of tyranny and ultimate destruction of future humanity.    

As Plato predicted nearly 2500 years ago, “We should expect tyranny to result from democracy, the most savage subjection from an excess of liberty" (Republic, Book VIII, 564 a).

Comments

lil dirtball HillaryOdor Tue, 11/28/2017 - 13:14 Permalink

In fairy tale after fairy tale, the reader can see the villain set the protagonist up to be a victim. Generally, one knows how the story goes before one reads the first paragraph. Villains, like the big, bad wolf, are clever and sneaky. Protagonists are likable enough, but are generally clueless to the evil machinations of the antagonist. Usually, the good guy wins ... but not always. Certainly, not in real life. And most certainly, not in this one.

This Farcebook fairy tale is no different. This (((asshole))) is conning billions of clueless and apathetic people worldwide and most won't understand the evil until it's too late and they become victims of his schemes - whether they end violently or otherwise.

Even here on the venerable ZH, the ZH0mbies think bad shit will only happen to other people. They're smarter than the average Three Little Bears and use Farcebook anyhow, despite all the warnings. It's easy, because they have easy excuses. They only check this or that. They only do it because so-and-so is on there .... it's like the Blind Mice leading the Blind Mice.

We should all pray that this particular asswipe dies peacefully and quietly in his sleep before he does any real, lasting damage to our species.

In reply to by HillaryOdor

Shitonya Serfs venturen Tue, 11/28/2017 - 12:21 Permalink

Thought control, auto-driving cars, full internal/external city surveillance, only 1 place to purchase goods, only a handful of places to access the web, full control of voice communications (which track you subversively), controlled digital currency, movies/TV provided to you by 1-2 companies.

They should write a book about this, or something.

In reply to by venturen

shitshitshit Shitonya Serfs Tue, 11/28/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

1- use a secure browser (brave.com for instance, but there are tons of them around, just look or them) that removes all cookies authentication etc. upon closing it.2- start using a VPN3- leave everything google, farcebok, etc. aside4- use a private and secure email provider that wouldn't rat out their customers.5- use 2 mobile phones: one stupid non smart one for real comms+voice configured with wifi for the 2nd one to be used over it. On top of that you can put the comm one far away when doing data transfers, which should prevent you from being irradiated.Then you should start to be ok on the IT side. 

In reply to by Shitonya Serfs

scrappy shitshitshit Tue, 11/28/2017 - 13:04 Permalink

      Tails - Privacy for anyone anywhere - USB

Many more privacy resources are to be found on the privacy tool guides below... P2P Foundation Massive Resource List for P2P Commons - Too many to list. https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Category:Resources Article on the potential of decentralized cryocurrencies leading to decentralized apps https://medium.com/peerism/blockchain-commons-the-end-of-all-corporate-business-models-3178998148ba https://medium.com/peerism Privacy and Security http://anonymous-news.com/how-to-download-the-data-that-google-has-been-collecting-on-you/ Privacy Tools - Encryption Against Global Mass Surveillance Opt out of global data surveillance programs like PRISM, XKeyscore, and Tempora - PRISM Break - PRISM Break The Ultimate Online Privacy Guide The ultimate Online Privacy Test Resource List - gHacks Tech News StopDataMining.me - A directory of Opt-Out links to stop data brokers from selling your personal information. Let's Encrypt - Free SSL/TLS Certificates for your Website How to modify your browser's fingerprint so that it is no longer unique - gHacks OpenNIC Project http://www.opensourcemesh.org/links.html PeerVPN - the open source peer-to-peer VPN Open Source Computing and Applications 10 best Linux distros for privacy fiends and security buffs in 2017 | TechRadar http://www.ubuntulinuxhelp.com/top-100-of-the-best-useful-opensource-applications/ OSTechNix - Open Source | Technology | Linux and Unix https://www.ostechnix.com/ DIY - Prepping - Self Sufficiency Free Prepper eBook Downloads http://ready4itall.org/the-free-preppers-library/ http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/ http://www.offthegridnews.com/ 10 affordable food and nutritional items you can stockpile before the big crisis hits http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-16-10-affordable-food-and-nutritional-items-you-can-cheaply-store-and-hoard-before-the-big-crisis-hits.html Datasheet Library http://datasheet4u.com/ The Raspberry Pi - A Digital DIY Multitool. https://www.raspberrypi.org/

In reply to by shitshitshit

mccvilb shitshitshit Tue, 11/28/2017 - 15:00 Permalink

I loaded the Brave browser last week and my computer promptly exited stage left and crashed. Thought it was ransomware. I could no longer log in but had limited user access with no admin privileges. All folders and files had disappeared. I now had a 1500 dollar cellphone.Nope, not ransomware. It was the Bill Gates revenge tour. My Windows 7 log in password had supposedly expired and now I'm prevented from resetting it. Know that all MSFT OS's and software are in the process of being shuttered and moved over to the Windows 10 management cloud. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

In reply to by shitshitshit

scrappy venturen Tue, 11/28/2017 - 13:16 Permalink

Not if you do not consent. P2P puts the power back in your hands.Breaking away from the Client - Server Model - control whims of FB, Utube, Goog Twit

      Tails - Privacy for anyone anywhere - USB

Many more privacy resources are to be found on the privacy tool guides below... P2P Foundation Massive Resource List for P2P Commons - Too many to list. https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Category:Resources Article on the potential of decentralized cryocurrencies leading to decentralized apps https://medium.com/peerism/blockchain-commons-the-end-of-all-corporate-business-models-3178998148ba https://medium.com/peerism Privacy and Security http://anonymous-news.com/how-to-download-the-data-that-google-has-been-collecting-on-you/ Privacy Tools - Encryption Against Global Mass Surveillance Opt out of global data surveillance programs like PRISM, XKeyscore, and Tempora - PRISM Break - PRISM Break The Ultimate Online Privacy Guide The ultimate Online Privacy Test Resource List - gHacks Tech News StopDataMining.me - A directory of Opt-Out links to stop data brokers from selling your personal information. Let's Encrypt - Free SSL/TLS Certificates for your Website How to modify your browser's fingerprint so that it is no longer unique - gHacks OpenNIC Project http://www.opensourcemesh.org/links.html PeerVPN - the open source peer-to-peer VPN Open Source Computing and Applications 10 best Linux distros for privacy fiends and security buffs in 2017 | TechRadar http://www.ubuntulinuxhelp.com/top-100-of-the-best-useful-opensource-applications/ OSTechNix - Open Source | Technology | Linux and Unix https://www.ostechnix.com/ DIY - Prepping - Self Sufficiency Free Prepper eBook Downloads http://ready4itall.org/the-free-preppers-library/ http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/ http://www.offthegridnews.com/ 10 affordable food and nutritional items you can stockpile before the big crisis hits http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-16-10-affordable-food-and-nutritional-items-you-can-cheaply-store-and-hoard-before-the-big-crisis-hits.html Datasheet Library http://datasheet4u.com/ The Raspberry Pi - A Digital DIY Multitool. https://www.raspberrypi.org/ Natural Disaster Resources Earthquake Analysis and Prediction https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchsinse/featured SpaceWeather -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.comhttp://www.QuakeWatch.nethttp://www.ObservatoryProject.comhttp://www.EarthChanges.orghttp://www.MagneticReversal.org http://spaceweather.com/  

In reply to by venturen