Navneet Alang on the hidden power of computers

Written by By Navneet Alang, CNN

Navneet Alang is a visual linguist, data scientist and the director of One World Perspective , a data science hub in London.

Her latest book ” Who Owns the Machine: When Machines Sing the Language of Human Languages ” is an exploration of how artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged to transform an already complex issue. In recent decades, AI has evolved to automate many everyday tasks with nearly ubiquitous reach: many parts of life have become impossible to continue without the use of machines, from medicine to law to policing.

Navneet Alang explores the power and influence of our rapidly changing digital world. Credit: supplied

Could this fully automated world be more complicated than imagined? The question has become more important as our use of digital devices is increasingly accompanied by interactions with computers. Do we all really have control over how we interface with the machines in our everyday lives?

Our industrial society was built on the understanding that humans have control over their bodies. It made perfect sense then, that we controlled computers; it made perfect sense that machines would respect our bodies. This concept has been dismantled in recent years.

The only person who really has control over his body is God. And he, only God, decides who moves his fingers, turns his head and controls the flow of gas through the nigh-indestructible metal at the core of this mechanized world. Yet, we have all built systems that have enslaved him through the telecommuting to work hours that only computer screens can see.

Taking self-driving cars and self-driving drones for granted, we have built systems that can never truly understand our minds. We create them to move us around and help us work. And then suddenly we wonder what it is like to live on machines.

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