Microsoft President: A.I. is Making '1984' Reality

Brad Smith says the dystopian nightmare described in "1984" might soon be reality if laws are not made to guard against A.I. in surveillance technology.

    2021/06/01

NSFW    LONDON, U.K. — In his famous novel, "1984", George Orwell described a world where a totalitarian government controlled what people were allowed to think, and where government officials could see and hear everything that everyone did and said.

Now, Microsoft's president says this dystopian nightmare might become reality only three years from now. Here are the details:

Microsoft president Brad Smith told the BBC's Panorama program that the authoritarian hell depicted in George Orwell's novel, "1984", could come to pass in 2024 if lawmakers didn't protect the public against A.I.

Smith was interviewed for a Panorama episode that explores China's increasing use of A.I. to monitor its citizens.

Smith said: "If we don't enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead, and it's going to be very difficult to catch up."

Smith said Orwell's book was about a government that could see and hear everything that everyone did and said.

The Panorama episode also looks at the complex competition between the West and China to create increasingly sophisticated A.I. for surveillance and control.

China is currently the world leader in this, and 54 percent of the world's 770 million CCTV cameras are in China.

The U.S. government's A.I. chief, Eric Schmidt, also spoke to Panorama, saying that Western democracies need to create strategies to beat China in the field of A.I.

A.I. applications rely on mountains of data to train algorithms to recognize patterns and make decisions.

Much of this data is harvested from us without us realizing it.

Internet companies track our clicks to learn our preferences for products or news articles.

Facebook recently announced it will begin to train A.I. models with public videos that users have uploaded on Facebook.
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