Jordan Peterson Testifies to Congress on Dystopian Concerns

( – Canadian public intellectual, author, and psychologist Jordan Peterson testified before the U.S. Congress multiple times this month. During one session, he discussed Big Tech and some of his dystopian concerns about AI, algorithms, and targeted ads designed based on listening to users’ private conversations through their “smart” devices.

Although many articles have been written denying that our devices listen to us and use that information to target us with specific advertisements, a company in Atlanta, Georgia, called Cox Media Group admitted last year that this is, indeed, happening. The company touted its “Active Listening” software that identifies “relevant conversations” through cellphones, computer microphones, and smart TVs. The software employs artificial intelligence (AI) systems to do this.

As of now, people still have options to turn off their phones or limit which apps can access the microphones and cameras, but what if there was no way to stop the government from monitoring everything on your phone as well as all of your internet activity? And what if an endless number of microphones and cameras tracked your every movement? This is what Peterson is concerned about, and what is already happening in countries like China.

Peterson testified before Congress and said that the Chinese government has installed “700 million CCTV cameras” around the nation to have “electronic eyes” everywhere. Such tech can not only “recognize faces at a distance,” the professor noted, but can also “gait itself” when someone’s features remain “hidden or obscured.” Peterson called the engineers of this system “demented” and “naive,” and noted how they named the surveillance apparatus “SkyNet” after the AI system in the fictional Terminator series that turned on human beings.

The Canadian professor also noted that this vast system of surveillance has been “integrated” with China’s so-called “social credit system.” That system grades citizens based on “their compliance with the dictates” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and controls their access to electronic services and ability to travel.

Peterson argues that Western nations, including the U.S., are heading in the same direction. He mentioned the severity of “state overreach” during the pandemic lockdowns, and how the Canadian government worked with tech companies and big banks to identify and punish protesters and their supporters who opposed the mandates. AI will make such surveillance and overreach easier and more widespread.

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