Odds are you’re a decent, upstanding person. You abide by the laws, pay taxes, and don’t rock the boat. You value security but not at the expense of privacy. Like the majority of people around you, you’re driven by self interest but not to the detriment of others. And if someone is clearly in need, you’ll try to help them, if you feel you can make a difference.
In other words, you’re a moral human being…or so you think.
People of the past thought they were moral too. They made choices that seemed right at the time, but in our day, we condemn some of their acts—like imperialism, slavery, and genocide—as highly immoral. History is full of these kinds of atrocities…and that’s just what we know about from a somewhat spotty record.
Things are vastly different today. We’re recording more of our lives than ever, and our communication, photos, and videos are all being stored by companies like Google and Amazon. Many of our choices, both public and increasingly private ones, are being stored in digital form indefinitely. Most people are smart enough not to post incriminating activities, but our understanding of “right” and “wrong” is through the lens of today’s morality. Will the people of the future agree?
At a recent Executive Program at Singularity University, Brad Templeton dives into the topic of how future artificial intelligence will mine the surveillance data collected today to identify the future crimes we unknowingly committed and posted on Facebook.
[image: Vasin Lee/Shutterstock]