Science fiction tells many tales of machines that lord over humanity, take on their own will and act in their own interest. Science fiction always seems such a long way away, but projected interactive screens and self-tying shoe(lace)s, those flights of creative fancy, are becoming a reality. So who is to say that machines won’t actually one day lord over us – just with people at the helm?

As technology advances, so does the opportunity of exploitation. Consumer rights’ specialists warn about normal citizens leaving themselves open to crimes by using smart technology. A house that locks with your phone only needs someone to hack your phone to unlock your door. A banking application that you installed on your phone could come from a fake company who aim to steal your information.

Consumer rights’ specialists are not wrong. And these are the more benign things to think of, as harsh as it sound, as the sphere of influence remains constrained at one victim.

There is electoral interference. Ranging from the Russian hacking emails of political parties as is strongly suggested in the United States, to the leaking of emails in the Czech Republic. Though allegations were made against Russia in the Czech Republic as well, one thing is important to note: claims cannot be substantiated easily. In either case.

Considering other examples are the prevention of possible nuclear armament of Iran, we need to be realistically worried about security experts’ concerns that these strategies are simple enough to imitate, and that copycat crimes are likely.

We live in a world that encourages children from a young age to familiarise themselves with technology, as apps teach them how to code as infants. They grow up all around the world, whether in free, perceived free, or unfree countries. How they grow up will influence how they use these tools independently, or even under suggestion of their country.

It’s quite telling that the Iran incident was seen as saving us from a significant safety risk, but leaking emails is condemned as foreign interference. Of course, everything is subject to the observers’ bias, but everyone is now on a ride they can’t get off, but they aren’t certain where they are going.

Just wait till these machines gain sentience.

(Picture credit goes to Santeri Viinamäki)

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