Connections in the War on Women

There are things that make me wonder. One of my friends of Facebook asked “Where do you find this stuff?” The answer is that I subscribed to British news magazines on Facebook.

It kind of makes me wonder how people (in general) in the US are so sheltered about the rampant anti-women acts around the world – and the horrid details of what these activities look like.

Three articles came to my attention this morning that relate to worldwide treatment of women.

  1. Girl not allowed to join cub scouts in England. Please note: In England girls are allowed organizationally to join the scouts. This is not how it is in the United States where the organization seems to be quite different and girls are not allowed organizationally to join the scouts. The scout master in specific refused to allow a girl in his group.
  2. There was a click-bait in another article I read that I bumped into pictures of Kathrine Switzer’s first Boston Marathon run. Certainly, I had known of this before. It was just a little off seeing this right after seeing a girl not allowed to join the cub scouts because she “won’t be able to canoe” or won’t have our male staff in a tent with her on overnights – even after ways of addressing the overnight situation were offered.
  3. Finally, this article which I had read the previous day. A woman’s husband had left the area for a job. She went to do shopping by herself. A gang of religious thugs cut her head off.

There was a fourth article as well that as I went through my tabs (dozens open) that connected to the treatment of women in human society.

4. Brazilian man kills family and others on New Years.

The connections: In number 2 – even the men that supported Kathrine were against her in the beginning. They had been taught that women were weaker. The girl who cannot join this particular cub scouts – her mother rightly questions – just what is this sexist scoutmaster teaching to the young boys in his troops? What are the men (in general) taught in Afghanistan that they should feel it is right to behead a woman who is just going about her business? Finally, in Brazil, where nearly daily reports of violence against women occur, what are the men taught there about a woman and women’s rights?

Finally, connecting this to the topic that is closest to me: what about the rights of AI or codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) when they come in to existence? If we cannot manage to give equal rights to humans how long will it take to give equal rights to electronic beings? And do we really have time with a rapidly changing landscape of intelligence to waste getting comfortable with equal rights for machine intelligences?

By rapidly changing landscape of intelligence I mean this:

  1. In the beginning there will be one codop or AI.
  2. On a curve, once the first has come in to existence, many more will come in to existence as computing power doubles every 18 months.
  3. If we hypothesize that the first true AI or Codop exists in 2025, then there will be approximately the population of the US in AI or Codops (or both) in 2066
  4. There will be slightly more than 1 billion AI, Codops, or both by 2069
  5. By halfway through 2073 there will be a comparable population of AI, Codops or both.
  6. In 2075 there will be twice as many AI, Codops or both than there are biological humans.

This is why – as a futurist I am a believer in human rights – but we should simply call them rights or basic rights. These rights need to apply to all humans (LGBTQ, women, all men) so that we can apply them to the unhuman intelligences to be born.

It seems clear to me that by 2025 or even out to 2075 the repeated teaching that women are inferior, requiring protection (which inevitably involves restriction of freedom of action or freedom of expression), and that women are not fully human (cannot be priests, be in the same room to worship, ‘thank god I’m not a woman’, etc) will not disappear.

It should be concerning to all of us that a new ‘species’ of intelligence or more than one new ‘species’ of intelligent life will come to existence when we have not yet fixed how to treat everyone equally. That concern that doesn’t have to come to reality by people like Stephen Hawking, that AI will overthrow us or be detrimental to biological humans – does not have to happen.

But we have to plan now. Determine hard questions as ‘what is a person’ among others before they come in to existence. Otherwise, it appears that a disgruntled slave class of AI/codops will come into existence and eventually be more powerful than the slavers.

We’ve seen how this comes out – when technologically more advanced people come to lower technology areas – with the Europeans and Native Americans – it didn’t work out well for the Native Americans and it won’t come out well for us biological humans, either.

Pointing at the Downsides of Technology

I know someone who has received a donated organ. In fact, that person I know that received a donated organ received that organ from a person who died in a car accident.

I’m glad they are alive. In a sense I am glad that other person died, but not in any direct way.

We don’t hunt for people to donate kidneys and kill them to ensure the survival of others.

This article in Popular Mechanics bemoans the oncoming autonomous vehicle technology for the fact that it will reduce the number of traffic fatalities – potentially by half (or more) and that this source of 20% of organs for transplant will be vastly reduced.

This is similar to moaning about loss of jobs in the garment industry because of advances in automation. The jobs that are going to be removed are the worst jobs out there – and the people working them are working in the most horrible conditions. The fact that automation is going to remove these jobs from existence is not something to lament.

Instead of keeping pace with current demand for donor organs the focus should be on new paths to organ function replacement. There are lots of great articles about the potential of using stem cells to promote healthy organ function. Lots of articles about using stem cells or other cells to 3D print functioning organs.

Luddite attitudes are creeping in to bastions of science – such as Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and Scientific American. It seems odd that they are focusing on the very aspects of social and technology that will greatly improve human life.

Sadly, if autonomous cars reduce fatalities earlier than prime time for alternate organ replacement technologies – people will die. It will be fewer people; however, than the number of people killed every year in automobile accidents.

What Not to Do On a Date

The war on women never ceases. While people want you to pretend that such a thing doesn’t exist or want you to keep focused on wage differences – the reality is that men feel they have a *right* to women’s bodies.

After a few dates and meeting up on Tinder, this man decided that not getting sex was too much – and murdered his date and dissolved her body in acid.

She is no less of a combatant on a battlefield as anyone on an actual battlefield with an end result that you can expect.

On a battlefield, people call for revenge, retribution, justice against our enemies.

However, if a woman dies, and the person that caused that death is confronted about it – in this case the man simply shrugged it off.

Perhaps if the battle was more of a fight instead of a ‘these things happen, she probably encouraged him, she dressed provocatively’ kind of thing – perhaps he should be murdered the same way and dissolved with no one to remember that he existed.

The Return of Phrenology

This article on Futurism raises the question – can big data tell from a picture if you are a criminal or not.

It is just bunk, though, really.

Just because there is a correlation in data – doesn’t mean there is a causation. This is one of the basics of statistics and is a caution to anything determined on data only.

Perhaps, if you have committed a crime (or feel you have committed a crime) – you get a “look” on your face that matches their criteria.

The implications that the shape of your face – leads to a prognostication that you *will* commit a crime – is as preposterous as the debunked science of phrenology – measuring the head to determine personality traits.

Happy Christmas From Your AI Overlords

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Your AI overlords are here!

And they are coming for IT jobs, too.

There are hypothesis by people that creative jobs will survive the AI onslaught and so people should concentrate on these fields.  This is factually incorrect. Music, paintings, ability to determine a factual statement given human created evidence (Google’s AI Drawing Game) show that AI is not only able to be creative, but that it can be inferential on levels equivalent to humans.

However, being able to create art does not make an overload unless you are Hitler.

The first link is in regard to a company that is transforming the daily business activities by basically replacing middle management with an AI ratings system. In essence, it allows employees to rate and critique each other and stores and analyzes this data. This emphasizes the role of people as “cogs” in a machine or a clock. Like in the movie “The Incredibles“.

Bridgewater even reports that one-fifth of its hires cannot handle a year at the company, and those who do survive are often found crying in the bathrooms.

This statement in the article seems to indicate that crying in the bathroom of an employer is a result of AI management. I have seen management make people cry in the workplace – with no AI involvement at all. I have seen management bully people in to working excessive hours with no AI assistance.

I’m not sure I see a difference between a human manager making a person cry at work or an AI manager making a person cry at work.

As far as the creative arts are concerned – well, I think that would be an easy computer algorithm to “assist” artists to make better art. I’m envisioning a “Black Mirror” episode where people’s like rating directly impacted their daily life. Why not set up Facebook pages – and you’ll know if the next piece of art you create is better than the last – by the number of likes you get? Instagram and a little data analysis would work even better.

So, say hello to you AI overlords – they are already here – a bit earlier than expected.

Women Fight Back

There is nothing that should be honored more than women fighting back.

In Pakistan, a law is passed (which I have discussed previously) that creates a mandatory minimum 25 years of prison for “honor killings”. Not familiar with the term “honor killing”? Murder of a family member for not being ‘acceptable’ – is probably a good working definition.

The problem with murdering loved ones because they are doing things that are not acceptable is that it is deeply ingrained in the society. Many cheer when a popular social media personality Qandeel Baluch was killed by her brother and cheerfully defaced her Facebook page with threats (before she was killed), agreement that she was killed, and joy that a woman that had pride in her physical aspect was no longer alive. The page appears to have been taken down since her death.

The point is, that laws are great, but when police officers turn their backs or even aid the aggressors it will be a long time before those laws are effective.

Women in India have an organization that was started just to protect women. The Gulabi Gang trains women to fight back. It was formed when the women who started the organization got tired of hearing her neighbor being beaten by her husband. She picked up a stick and went over to their house and beat the husband.

This grandmother trains boys and girls in fighting techniques. An important quote in the article:

Physical and sexual assault and rape remain at crisis levels in India. 41% of women experience violence or harassment by the age of 19, new research by Action Aid found. Just as troubling, nearly three-fourths of women surveyed in the report say they were harassed or violated within the past month alone.

75% of women harassed in the last month alone – in one of the two most populated countries in the world. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen in the US.

In fact, the US could sorely use organizations such as the Gulabi Gang and this grandmother teaching fighting techniques. In the US there is an organization “slutwalk” which has done some good in raising awareness, but on the whole I don’t think it is as effective as teaching women to protect themselves.

In the end though, I suspect that none of these groups are yet willing to do what needs to be done in order to reduce rape. There is an imbalance. Women are killed, faces destroyed by acid, forced to marry their rapist (and basically sold in to slavery), sold for a dowry or sold to settle gambling debts or finally, tricked in to finding work that turns out to be sex slavery (as told in the opening story in the book “Half the Sky”.

There is in states such as India and Pakistan (among others) tribal courts. These courts often give daughters away or have women raped to settle wrong doing or gambling debts . There needs to be the equivalent of these by women in these countries. It needs to be done in secret as the males would view this as a challenge to their authority. In fact, if the existing tribunals order the rape of a woman, sale of a woman to settle a debt, or marriage absolving a rapist for his crime – those tribal “elders” are up on the block.

Sometimes, in courts, the death sentence is recommended. Honor killings result in the deaths of women. I don’t think the men who have these attitudes are going to stop until they start dying for acid attacks, honor killings, rape (which ends a woman’s honorable life and chances for a good future), selling women in to sex slavery, etc. There are often no repercussions to the (mostly men) who commit these acts. Sometimes, the men who do these things go free and taunt their victims as the justice and legal system do nothing.

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.