DeepMind, deep AI, deepfakes: A warning on 'surveillance capitalism'

Around the end of each year, major dictionaries declare their "word of the year". Last year, for instance, the most looked-up word at Merriam-Webster.com was "justice". Well, even though it's early, I'm ready to declare the word of the year for 2019.

The word is "deep". Why? Because recent advances in the speed and scope of digitisation, connectivity, big data and artificial intelligence are now taking us "deep" into places and into powers that we've never experienced before - and that governments have never had to regulate before. I'm talking about deep learning, deep insights, deep surveillance, deep facial recognition, deep voice recognition, deep automation and deep artificial minds.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'DeepMind, deep AI, deepfakes: A warning on 'surveillance capitalism''. Print Edition | Subscribe