Will 2024 be like 1984?
A few weeks ago with DW, after our fortnightly meeting, we stopped by the coffee shop in the business center where we normally operate; the shop is managed by the same company who manage the restaurant, in a place, to paraphrase Umberto Eco “whose name it is pitiful and wise to keep silent”.
In a moment of conviviality and pride of the manager we were made aware – among other things – that that business was participating in the experimentation of a technology in the marketing sector, which made it possible to measure, through an innovative artificial intelligence algorithm (AI for short, one of the keywords that nowadays make investors open their wallets) the sentiment of the spectators to an advertising message; from the website of this company I note that, guaranteeing the privacy of the viewer, the number, the relative attention threshold, the reaction are recorded and interaction is stimulated through competitions.
I don’t think so however: I already consider any piece of equipment that measures my sentiment, my attention span and encourages me to interact with it to be a clear violation of my privacy! And if as regards the interaction it’s still my choice, as regards being scrutinized and measured, don’t: Either I consent in spite of myself to being subjected to these measurements or I can even leave the room to go elsewhere, assuming I have a choice on where to go!
In this moment of writing I am reminded of 1984, the film based on the novel by George Orwell, with the ubiquitous television screen that only party members could turn off and which measured the performance of the spectators in the imposed gymnastic exercises. What was science fiction in 1949 is now reality; the Overton window is wide open in the form of a four-by-two-metre television screen surrounded by artificial intelligence cameras that scrutinize their audience, catching every single blink of an eye.
Let’s imagine a future in which AI blocks bank accounts if our attention to the production statistics of the kettles is below average, or because it measured a flicker of pride in us when the images of that demonstration against yet another cut in pensions scrolled by!
At AnoniCloud we are determined to protect our private sphere which is considered inviolable. Like salmon swimming against the current, we motivate ourselves daily to grow AnoniCloud. We are aware that we will never see a single franc, euro or dollar of public contributions and that the word privacy is not among those keywords that automatically open investors’ wallets. But we’re still here, with AnoniCloud – the file manager (version 2.4.3), AnoniCamera (version 1.0.2) and soon AnoniScanner; these document creation apps have the main goal of protecting users’ privacy.
We want AnoniCloud to keep growing! We want to work on it 200% of our time!
In the coming months we will launch a crowdfunding campaign to bring AnoniCloud to a production stage and certify the ecosystem through a company specialized in IT security.
Picture from “Nineteen Eighty-Four” – Directed by Michael Radford.