Can computers be trusted ? Probably not. Cartoon # 3 of 3


Found on our attic, partly eaten away by bookworms (!!?): three drawings called “Computer Myths Explained“, of a series of 8, which I bought from Creative Computing in 1979, by the famous Monte Wolverton, see Wikipedia and his website:

This is no.3 : Myth = Computers can’t be trusted and when finally imbued with higher reasoning powers they will do evil, treacherous things !

That is what Wolverton wrote in 1979 below this cartoon. It reflects fears for computers that are still in the minds of many people. And…. they probably are right. Computers are power tools programmed to do specific tasks and now able to do many things that only humans could and faster. Internet of Things (IoT) , AI built after how we now think that brain functions work.

IMHO we should not be too nervous about “robots” because their computer power is still not exceeding that of a fly. What we should closely watch is how networks of computers are interconnected to process information and make decisions, ike for example the distributed computer systems that buy and sell stocks. Even quants can not see through how those systems have been constructed and even they wonder if that financial system is stable any more, or can be made stable. Maybe a redesign should be started, which includes the decentral blockchain ledger system to reassign trust between parties that transact. “Have a nice day !!!”.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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