Over-hyped technology  

Mahmudur Rahman     | Published: July 13, 2018 22:14:19 | Updated: July 14, 2018 21:13:14

As one of those with suspicions around all the data made available to government in an effort to provide seamless identification of wrong-doers the latest information leakage news of FaceBook is vindication for this scribe. It's all rather convenient. Renewed questions over precision technology-led military action in Syria, have paled before the sobering information that private data leakage may run deeper than that previously thought of. FaceBook is under the microscope as it backtracks internal checks on use of personal data and its sharing with others without user's knowledge.

'Precision targeting' used by Israel in its strike back on Gaza, didn't do what it was supposed to. It would appear the same applies to the US packaged, France and UK delivered 'precision targeting' in Syria. The Chemical Weapons detection team has gone in to hiding and no one is venturing a word on responsibility and accountability for the action. If the installations destroyed were chemical labs of the dangerous sort, surely it wouldn't take this long to find out. Or was it chance adventurism of drawing Russia into more than a proxy war? Or perhaps the argument is closed along the lines 'everything's fair in love and war'.

Technology is obviously spurring world advances but the glitches come big in size and bigger in costs. From business related issues such as hacking Bangladesh's ForeignExchange reserves to the more passion evoking 'Review' in cricket decisions and 'Video Assisted Reviews' in football, implications are vast and wide.The last two have raised more controversy than that put to rest. And  Google can be credited for withdrawing from a US military contract that sought to create and utilise artificial intelligence for reasons anything but peaceful. This won't stop the project from going on. But it sends a warning that uncharted territory comes with its own boggy swamps.

The movies of the past predicted such a situation and the concept's creepiness was amply demonstrated in a latest film where a cyber-criminal who can wipe out memory traces had to be apprehended and could only be so by enticing her in to a trap. Human mind can create certain barriers but the losing battle against dubious scientific minds suggests it's a matter of time before robots can even simulate football. The consequences of security installations under robotic guard are daunting. The mind as a weapon aided by technology is even more fearful even though it would bring down expensive defence budgets. With the likes of President Trump insisting NATO countries beefed up defence budgets to 2.0 per cent of GDP it's heading in the opposite direction. Given Belgium spends three fourth of defence spending on pensions, he has a point but not one that will meet popular acquiescence.



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