Monday, 27 April 2015

Can Your Persona Be Virtualised?

The recent technological advancement in robotics has proved that the science fiction idea of human being virtualised is actually possible. You can become a virtual copy of yourself with your memory stored elsewhere, whilst artificial intelligence overtakes your mind and your outward expression. The article published by Russia Today stating that Google has secured a patent for a robot that mimics the owner:

Imagine a robot-pal who could mimic its owner, a “deceased loved one,” or even a “celebrity.” This sci-fi concept may soon be reality after Google was awarded a US patent to develop downloadable personalities for robots.

Yes, indeed, our Google is going to get a robot that mimics your personal gestures, behaviour, tone of voice, etc.  Not to forget that this is the search engine with vast amount of information that human cultures have accumulated throughout centuries.  The search engine that gives us answers to our queries on just about anything and also stores our questions; and it knows what we are interested in.  This is the search engine acquiring combat robots amongst other things and disseminating information in more ways than one.

This robot will also be able to express various moods in the manner that you normally express and it won’t stop there.  It will carry on functioning after we have passed away and it will develop by accessing more of your personal information:

A robot may access a user device to determine or identify information about a user, and the robot may be configured to tailor a personality for interaction with the user based on the identified information,” the patent detailed. In building its own personality, the robot could “further receive data associated with the user” through speech and facial recognition.

This patent also allows for Cloud based information sharing.  Of course, it is not the robot that is as important outwardly but the micro-chip that will achieve such a state.  One can now imagine the Royal heads, celebrities, heads of state lining up to get their lookalikes to insert this micro-chip as this will make them indistinguishable from the original person.  This puts the job of a lookalike in a totally different category, a risky one, we may presume, as they will be pressurised to accept this micro-chip for the vast amounts of remuneration offered.

The question we might ask is where would our real personality be whilst this Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) micro-chip is taking over our precious behavioural patterns and such, displaying this to our nearest and dearest exactly the same way as they are accustomed to?

Another research on PHYS.ORG is an eye opener on that. The article published by the name: ‘Nanoscale Light trapping mirrored cavities amplify connect quantum memories’ states that the tiny particles, photons, can be controlled with nano technology and microwave manipulation.   This discovery has great variety of applications and whilst this is focusing on “trapping the light around the impurities in atoms in diamond crystals”, as well as nanoscale manipulations of light, there is more yet to come. By using this technology, they are also focusing on connecting distant quantum memories and they can also use fibre optic cables to transfer the information.
The article states that:

It is already possible to transfer information about the electron spin state via photons, but we have to make the interface between the photons and electrons more efficient.”
They can also extend the storage time of the quantum memories. The question is does this extend to human memories as well? The article simply states that these are the quantum memories in solids “that are couple with photons.

So why photons?  There are some other research documents that give us answers to that showing the significance of this discovery.  As we know, photons carry the tiny particles of colour, particles of light.  However, it is possible to collect these and make up a full picture.  The answers in physics about photons The Naked Scientist states that:         

The only information that an individual photon carries is its frequency (colour) and the direction from which it has come.  It requires a great many individual photons to create an image which includes photons coming from a range of angles with different frequencies and sufficient numbers to create a range of intensities per picture element"

In other words, the full image can be reconstructed if there was a sufficient manipulation of photons and with the nanoscale laser this may be quite possible.  Further answers by the Naked Scientist state that photons carry the information about any image, the surrounding environment, human face, etc.  It is very hard to create the full image however, now, with the scale of the discovery stated on PHYS.ORG is quite visible.

The importance of photons becomes apparent when we look at the articles related to the nature of human consciousness and memories.  Apparently, we store our memories as holographic images and the transfer of these can be facilitated by using precisely, this photon trapping and manipulation technology.

The article ‘Quantum Hologram And the Nature of Consciousness’ in the Journal of Cosmology states that:

Like all holographic processing, the associative pattern that is created facilitates retrieval of information in a resonant loop utilizing the overlapping reference signals of quantum emissions from the external object. It enables the perceiving organism’s brain structures to perform pattern classification and recognition of the resonating signals. This resonance process is called phase conjugate adaptive resonance (PCAR).

The talk is about the retrieval of these images from the brain.  The memory manipulation can be of various nature.  It has already been known that memory can be taken over by another organism, such as a virus, which can act as a memory eraser.  The same article deals with this aspect presenting the research regarding the effect some viruses have on memory functions.

So it is possible to either take over the host like the viruses do, erase the memory.  Going back to the photon manipulation, the word manipulation via microwave also implies editing, thus if you can create a full image, why not edit it as well.  If you can transfer the holographic image as this is the way we store our memories, it could be quite possible to insert the false holographic memory as well.  It is noteworthy; to see how the viral route of handling and taking over memory can develop:

Unlike most organisms, viruses are not made of complete cells. They reproduce by invading and taking over the machinery of their target host cell. When a virus comes into contact with a potential host, it inserts itself into the genetic material of the host’s cell. The infected cell is then instructed to produce more viral protein and genetic material instead of performing its normal functions. Is that purposeful behavior or intentionality by the invading virus? (PCAR)

The other agents to erase the memory have been quite well known for some time.  Anesthesia is one of them. The way it can erase memory is quite well documented and known to scientists.  So, we are talking about a chemical agent that can induce the same effect.  Whilst some memories can be recovered by the patient, stated by the same article, the initial damage to the brain by this chemical agent is quite clear.  However, with deeper knowledge of the workings of human brain and recent discoveries, this knowledge has acquired further detail.  It appears that the way some anesthesia operates in the brain is similar to the vibrations in the neurons.  In other words, if the right the brain neurons were subjected to the right frequency and vibrations one would get the same effect as the anesthesia has on the memory and vice versa.  So this proves that the workings of the chemical agent are the same as far as the mechanics of the processes are concerned.  This is documented by another article in PHYS.ORGDiscovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules”.  This corroborates theory of consciousness states that:

G. Eckenhoff, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that anesthesia, which selectively erases consciousness while sparing non-conscious brain activities, acts via microtubules in brain neurons.

Thus, it is possible to erase the memory and the workings of this process is precisely, made clear by studying the microtubules and the vibrations of the neurons in the brain.  This very same article also talks about creating ‘benevolent’ moods in the microtubules of the subject.  That means get the subject to ‘like’ something directly induced in the brain via certain frequencies and vibrations.  

We have now seen from the above articles that whilst memory can be manipulated in many ways, what is most important for the micro-chip that mimics the owner is to use these memories to its advantage to establish the similarity between the imposter and the original and deceive the onlookers.  This could be one of the obvious applications of this A.I. chip.  Whilst this device is using the memory of the original owner, the actual memory can be manipulated in many ways and as earlier we talked about the memory retrieval from the brain, it must be clear that if memory can be retrieved, it could potentially be uploaded as well to a ‘safe’ device, such as the Cloud.  Let’s not kid about it. If there is a micro-chip or a quantum technology that uploads such large data, it would work the opposite way as well.  In other words, what’s unloadable is also downloadable. Thus, this memory or any other information including unsolicited, could be downloaded into the subject’s micro-chip.  This could be ‘someone else’s memories or advertising material of any kind.  Politicians could conduct their election propaganda directly into our brains together with the adverts of household cleaning agents and they would also create the ‘likeable’ mood in our brain for the subject to welcome this.  This opens the door to wide range of ethical questions.  This devastates any thought, trust or belief some people might have in democracy.  This casts a severe blow to the idea that people should be allowed to perceive the reality on their own terms and make up their own mind.  In other words, an individual should use external environment and create his/her opinion without this type of intrusion directly into his/her sensory and processing equipment, such as brain, mood creation via the microtubule vibrations and such.

So now we can see the true extent of all the above discoveries, research and their applications. This should go against the core of what most people in a democratic state should stand for. Yet, this kind of idea that memories will be uploaded and shared is propagated widely by the media, rather frivolously as if this was a true technological advancement. No wonder that the Daily Mail suggests that according to Ray Kurzweil the uploading of human mind will be possible.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, believes we will be able to upload our entire brains to computers within the next 32 years - an event known as singularity

Whether it will be the uploading of the full human consciousness holographically, or the setting of the virus to act to overtake its operations in conjunction with this as well as erasing the memories, the prospect is extremely daunting as we are looking at arresting one’s own human mind and disabling its operations whilst the robotic intelligence that mimics the host will take over its outward functions.
This effectively, means the total obliteration of one as an individual.

by Katrina Day
BSc MA Cert Ed,  is an author and campaigner against micro-chipping humans and digital tattoos, striving to get the law passed in British Parliament where micro-chipping minors under any reason, medical or any other, will be criminalised. Adults can only be micro-chipped or digitally tattooed if they give their informed consent.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Schools livestreaming images of children to parents ‘smart’ devices

On the 24th of May 2014 an article was published in the UK Daily Telegraph entitled ‘Government allows problem schools to take up free camera surveillance trial’.  The article details how a report had been published revealing the extent of drug problems in UK schools and how a company called Watchbot thought a good solution to this was to put Internet Protocol television cameras (IPTV) in classrooms, corridors and schools playgrounds to livestream images and audio in real time to parents phones and tablets “to keep tabs on schoolchildren’s behaviour.” 

Britain’s schools extensively have CCTV but never before have schools broadcast real time images from classrooms.  Schools using this technology are thought to be the first to do so globally.

The scenario allows parent and carers unprecedented visual and audio access to their children in school, watching every moment of their school life.  Children’s learning, socialising and recreation time all broadcast live to parents ‘smart’ devices, every minute of the school day.   But it is not just their children that are available to watch; it is everyone else's children too.

To see how this video livestream could be deployed without infringing on a child’s right to privacy, being scrutinised by unknown adults viewing remotely, a correspondence was sent to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who oversees the UK Data Protection Act 1998.   The ICO’s response was that:

“…any proposal to use technologies which allow potentially vulnerable youngsters to be viewed by a wider audience in what should be a safe and confident learning environment needs very careful consideration.

The use of such [livestreaming IPTV] technologies, if not properly considered and not used with strong safeguards, could potentially be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 and at the very least would not be considered good practice

Imagine a scenario where a camera was situated so parents could see the comings and goings of children to the school’s nurse, what if a parent sees a friend’s child take regular visits to the school nurse?  Does that parent then tell the other parent?  - apart from the fact that medical information is classed as ‘sensitive data’ under the Data Protection Act and the school has a responsibility to keep that information confidential for the child.   How would this constant monitoring affect relationships between students, curbed perhaps because of the student's knowledge of other parents snooping on their children, their friends?  What if little Jonny is ill, off school, and logs in on his parent’s smart device to see what is happening in school?  In the wrong hands this IPTV footage would be dynamite ammunition for a bully.  Recorded images and audio could potentially be put on social media and a child’s life be made a misery because of it.  How could anyone possibly quantify the psychological damage done to a child by this?    

Beaming live video off a school site in real time, to potentially hundreds of people, brings up many areas for consideration, least of all the complete invasion of privacy to the children and staff.   The glaringly obvious question that springs to mind is, who is checking exactly who the persons are watching these images?  Adults cannot step foot into a classroom without the appropriate safety checks.  Access to children in school is had only by accredited adults.  This livestream system would give not just general information about children, when they arrive/leave school and what classes they are in, but potentially sensitive information about a child to unknown third parties in real time.  Where are these safety checks for ‘school livestream’ viewers?

The ICO’s closing statement was that, “the ICO is not aware of any particular schools using live stream CCTV or similar, but we would of course respond to any concerns that are subsequently brought to our attention.

Bizarrely the names of the schools trialling this technology were kept from the public for ‘privacy’ reasons.  See 3 minutes into this radio interview:

To find out which schools were livestreaming images of children off site, so a complaint could be made to the ICO, a Freedom of Information request was sent to all secondary schools in the local authorities where the four schools were - Liverpool, Waltham Forrest and Herefordshire; a total of 61 schools.  The Freedom of Information request was sent September 2014.

The response rate to the Freedom of Information requests was dismal.  Schools clearly had little grasp of their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and it was not until March 2015, with assistance from the ICO, when finally all schools in those local authorities responded to the request.  A six month process that should have taken 20 working days under the Act.

Interestingly not one secondary school in any of the local authorities answered affirmative to trialling the livestream IPTV technology.  A 100% denial that any secondary school was using the Watchbot technology.  The BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester radio interview done with Richard Hillgrove from Watchbot, featured a secondary school head teacher and pupils, which certainly lead listeners to believe it was being trialled in secondary schools, as did the Telegraph article and an article by Wired, simply by the nature of the reasoning why IPTV cameras had been installed - drug abuse.

Good news, it seems the secondary schools in these areas are sufficiently drug aware to not need this technology to monitor drug taking and drug deals.  Which means, as responses under FOIA have to be robust as those given in a court of law, that this technology must be in primary schools.

If this is the case, then not only is it alarming that images and audio of primary age children are being livestreamed from classrooms and playgrounds in real time to ‘smart’ devices, but more concerning is that primary school children in these areas have a drug problem serious enough to seemingly warrant vigilant parents policing school life, minute by minute, by having access to these classroom live feeds.

So there are three scenarios here: a) that four secondary schools are lying under the Freedom of Information Act, b) Watchbot livestream IPTV cameras are being used in four primary schools, c) the article in the Telegraph is simply fabricated, perhaps a ploy by Watchbot for some free publicity.

As there are 266 primary schools in the four local authorities cited in the Telegraph article it will be a large undertaking to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information on this, especially given the poor response by the FOIR on this to secondary schools in those areas.

According to the Telegraph article, in a letter to Watchbot from the Department of Education, regarding livestreaming from schools, they stated:

The department [of Education] appreciates your efforts to improve the safety of our children in schools  …we do not endorse, fund or promote specific resources for use in schools.   We leave these decisions for teachers to make, as we believe they are best placed to recognise the needs and abilities of their pupils.”

In order to further clarify which schools, secondary or primary, are using these livestream IPTV the Department of Education have been sent a freedom of information request, which is due back on the 16th April 2015.

When new technologies emerge in schools, such as biometrics and tagging children with radio frequency identification (RFID) devices, the UK Department of Education takes a step back, allowing industry to sell such technologies to Head Teachers, in this case supposedly for children’s safety to tackle drug use.  Biometrics for buying food was to stem bullying for money, fingerprint registration for library use was to improve reading habits, RFID tagging children was to improve attendance and for improved safety in school.   In reality, it is plain and simply mass surveillance of our children in education to gather data.

Technology cannot stop drug use, improve reading habits or stop bullying. Money spent on educating children, empowering them with knowledge, being able to make the right decision in a tough scenario is what our children would benefit most from.   As the Information Commissioner’s Office states, schools should be a “safe and confident learning environment”.  Mass surveillance of school children, available randomly in real time to the general public without any consideration to privacy, has to be wrong. It softens them to being surveilled, leading the next generation into a world where privacy is non existent.

Eventually the schools using this IPTV will be found and a complaint to the ICO will ensue.

by Pippa King