Regular readers may recall I love the TV show Person of Interest. In it, a supercomputer is built, gleaning data about people from all exterior sources, including traffic and surveillance cameras, and calculates if the person so surveilled is either in danger or a danger.
Of course, there is a battle royal between various elements in the government (and, by extension private contractors), as to who is going to have access (in the government) to this data, and what they will do with it.
There is a second computer in the mix, and, of course the computer’s creator and his allies.
I am anxiously awaiting the next season.
Now comes real life (courtesy of Wirecutter)…
From Boston to Beijing, municipalities and governments across the world are pledging billions to create “smart cities”—urban areas covered with Internet-connected devices that control citywide systems, such as transit, and collect data. Although the details can vary, the basic goal is to create super-efficient infrastructure, aid urban planning and improve the well-being of the populace. (yeah, right! – Guffaw)
A byproduct of a tech utopia will be a prodigious amount of data collected on the inhabitants. For instance, at the company I head, we recently undertook an experiment in which some staff volunteered to wear devices around the clock for 10 days. We monitored more than 170 metrics reflecting their daily habits and preferences—including how they slept, where they traveled and how they felt (a fast heart rate and no movement can indicate excitement or stress).
DATA MINING EXTREME!
And you thought the NSA reading your email wherein you mentioned you purchased a pressure-cooker, or watching you do whatever you do while surfing porn was a problem!