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Don’t steal moths – three great IT articles from the press

Don’t steal moths – three great IT articles from the press

Posted on 22nd October 2018

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Atlas moth

Let’s start with a piece from the Guardian on the somewhat frightening subject of weaponised AI. More specifically, this asks the killer question (and that is the correct adjective in this case), “Are algorithmic forever wars our future?”

While perhaps taking a stereotypical, not exactly pro-American, Guardian view, this article does pose some really interesting, and worrying, questions about the future of warfare and the ways in which the military (in all ‘advanced’ economies) are seeking to use technology to make it easier to kill their enemies – and how, or whether, they are trying to avoid killing those civilians whom just happen to be in the way at the same time.

On the other side of the political fence, today’s Daily Telegraph has an article that asks whether employers are using social networks at work (Slack, etc.) to control their workers.  As remote working becomes increasingly common, the use of software such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Facebook’s Workplace app are going to become more common.  Conversations that once took place (privately) around the water cooler are now recorded online, with all that implies for privacy and “control.”

Finally, the other one of the triumvirate of “quality” press in the UK, The Times, has an interesting example of how technology, or social media at least, should come with a health warning for the unintelligent, in this case, millennial, thief.  After an interesting piece on the latest fad – a “companion” phone for your existing mobile, The Times tells of a “genius 19 year old master criminal from Birmingham” who successfully nicked a cocoon from a butterfly farm, incubated it and saw a 30cm Atlas moth (as pictured above) emerge.  Unfortunately, she then posted a picture on social media, claiming she had given birth to the unfortunate creature.  Mr Plod, as we know, is getting quite expert at social media these days and came calling, resulting in a “community resolution” sentence…  

Susie Toner, Be-IT

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