AI meets (cheats?) death

We are slowly getting used to the fact that AI is becoming present in almost every aspect of our life. But what if it also becomes present in our… death?

Microsoft recently patented a method of capturing people’s social media legacy and transcribing it into a chatbot. In other words; AI could simulate deceased people based on their digital footprint.

The technology allows mimicking persons personality, so that a digital simulacrum can be created. After all, we leave so much data in form of pictures, videos, WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, you name it, that it is more than enough for the algorithms to forge our personality.

Of course such technology would possibly not only be restricted to dead people. Yet, the latter seems particularly morbid.

As we read in the source article;

“Specifically, Microsoft could use images, voice data, social media posts, text messages, and written letters to “create or modify a special index in the theme of the specific person’s personality”

(More here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/a35165370/microsoft-resurrects-the-dead-chatbots/ )

To put it bluntly; instead of old-fashioned spiritistic session with candles now a smartphone with a chat application will do the job, so that we can speak to the dead.

Sounds eerie?

How about a full “digital resurrection” in VR? Imagine putting on a headset a having your deceased loved ones just few clicks away.

Well, you do not have to imagine that. It is already happening.

In South Korea a documentary titled “I Met You” tells a story of a mother’s reunion with her daughter. What made this reunion special was the fact that it took place in a carefully designed scene inside VR studio and that one of the participants was dead.

Nayeon, who died at the age of seven, was one the children of Jang Ji-sung, a woman depicted in the documentary.

Producers recreated digitally child’s facial features, motion and speech patterns.

The virtual model of a Nayeon, was not only animated but also allowed simple interactions such as holding hands. It took several months of preparation so that the grieving mother would have one last chance to say goodbye.

The result is equally chilling as it is mind boggling. In fact you can watch it yourself, but I have to warn you; this is possibly one of the most disturbing and intense things that you will see in a while;

Video: Mother meets her deceased daughter through VR technology

So what is next?

Full body human replicas as in “Black Mirror” episode ” Be right back”?

Specially customised NPCs in role playing games who are based on our social circle, to perfectly simulate people we already know?

One thing is certain, the progress in AI technology will force us, as humanity to keep asking very basic questions about what it truly means to live, and what it truly means to die.

What do AI and Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones have in common?

Accordingly to some AI researchers they might be the same thing…

Max Tegmark in his book Life 3.0 explores the idea of an AI that reached the singularity.

First the AI acts from behind the scenes, slowly overtaking every single aspect of our life. Once it becomes powerful enough it reveals itself to become mankind’s overlord.

It then expands to consume & transform whole universe into a single super-processing organism. This omni present consciousness subdues all the matter that exists for its purposes.

It becomes something like the Azathoth from Lovecraft’s fiction – the ever hungry cosmic Sultan god.

It is a wild, scary idea.

Yet it corresponds eerily with the conclusions drawn by other other thought leaders such as Sam Harris.

As he explains in one of the TEDTalks the singularity is inevitable.

What comes next is the prediction that the intelligence gap between humans & those forecoming digital entities will be so vast, that it might be impossible for us humans to ever bridge that gap.

Possible spectrum of intelligence – visualisation. Comparing chicken, average human, most intelligent human & what could lie beyond it...
Source: YouTube Can we build AI without losing control over it? | Sam Harris

The paralel of the lovecraftian infinite, powerful, godlike creatures starts to become more and more accurate, doesn’t it?

It all becomes even more disturbing once you hear it appearing in the business pitches from AI startups.

Such as the one below from KindredAI.
The birth of AI that has transcended the singularity threshold is described like this:

“These entities that we are summoning are not demons they are more like these Lovecraftian Great Old Ones. These entities that are not going to be necessarily aligned with what we want.

The same way you don’t care about an ant, the same way they won’t care about you”

In Lovecraft’s fiction human interactions with the Great Old Ones almost always resulted in madness. Accordingly to the Father of Cosmic Horror human mind is to fragile to bear the burden of such encounter.

So… how’s that going to look like with the AI?

Maybe instead of calling “Hey Siri!” soon we will be saying “Cthulhu Fhtagn”… ?

Is there a good news to all this, then?

There is The Good News.

But that’s another story.

“Choose your damn sacrifice” & other lessons from Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan B. Peterson’s books are at the top of my shelf, just next to G.K Chesterton and C.S Lewis.

They call him controversial. They call him dangerous. Mainstream press (or should say “presstytutes”?) line up in forming all kinds of tactics aimed at discrediting him.

They really don’t like what he has to say.

And the reason is simple.

That’s because we already reached the times of which Orwell spoke in his famous quote:

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

Dr. Peterson’s “12 rules for life” is a treasure chest of great lessons. Some are new and some are the ones, we always knew yet needed to be reminded of.

I could write long essays on how they resonate with me & how they helped me in some of the toughest moments of my life. But that’s story for another time.

There is one common theme, that is at the core of Jordan B. Peterson’s writings.

His relentless pursuit of the Truth.

Since writing my thesis (more than a decade ago) on methods of influence and manipulation and their ethical aspect, this is the theme that I can relate to on deeply personal level.

So for those of you who do not know Peterson’s writings really well I highly recommend that you disregard everything you heard about him in media, just grab his “12 lessons for life” and start reading it.

But for start if you are not up for such a big leap, a brand new opportunity has arrived. Official channel of Jordan B. Peterson just posted a well animated video which illustrates some of his essential ideas.

The animations are brilliant and on the point, much like Dr. Peterson’s lectures themselves.

I would not recommend to treat the video as a ‘ersatz’ to the proper thing which are his books.

But surely it is a great, short & crisp introduction to what he has to say.

And to start understanding why it is so damn important.

Deepfakes vs fake detection. The arms race is on.

Few posts down the line I was writing on how the rise of the deepfake technology will require strong countermeasures. The deepfakes are becoming so precise that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from the real video by naked eye.

If you do not realise it is already happening, just have a look at the recent TikTok phenomenon, DeepTom Cruise; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq-kmFCrF5Q&ab_channel=VFXChrisUme


So now, we will need support of an AI in order to be able to distinguish fakes from a real videos.

That, in turn, will lead to more sophisticated & undetectable deepfakes. And so the spiral begins.

“While in the beginning, AI-generated synthetic videos (using DNNs — Deep Neural Networks) were designed to deceive the human eye from authentic videos, advancements in technology are now taking measures to produce deepfakes undetectable to detection algorithms. “

Source: https://futureofmarketinginstitute.com/deepfakes-will-influence-the-future-of-marketing-whether-we-want-it-or-not/

The good guys will fight back with tools like the one eye reflection analysis software that is almost bulletproof.
Almost… because there is still that 6% window where fakes can remain undetected.

My prediction?

You will soon be enabling anti-fake plugins while surfing one youtube, TikTok or other platforms, same way you switch on your ad-blockers. Possibly some platforms will have those integrated in them & analysis will occur upon uploading the user generated content.

In any case – deepfake vs deepfake detection algorithms struggle will become part of our daily online experience & inseparable part of common cyber security measures.

Digital Health Passes have arrived and they are here to stay.

With a announcement of the global roll out of the vaccine, it seems we are closer to the end of pandemic. Yet, I also can’t help but notice that we are just at the beginning of the a journey to completely new world. This new reality that unfolds from behind the post-pandemic chaos, comes with irreversible changes to how live, travel and do business.
One of the core aspects of these changes will be data governance.

Information such as health status, contact and vaccination history will become a must-have part of our digital wallets (and in case you haven’t got one, you will have another reason to catch up on it) and they will be accessible by third parties (by on-request basis).

IBM and World Economic Forum are among the biggest players who put the digital health passes (called also CovidPass) into the game.

IBM comes with a block-chain based product that is already integrated with Salesforce and allows organisations to validate health status of the individual, so that a decision can be made on if to allow physical contact/travel/event participation etc.

It is a blockchain-based platform designed to incorporate multiple data sources as specified by each organization – such as test results and onsite temperature scans – which can allow individuals to share their health pass through an encrypted digital wallet on their smartphone

Source IBM: https://www.ibm.com/products/digital-health-pass

World Economic Forum comes with a similar solution called: CovidPass which unlike its competitors doesn’t support contact tracing.

CovidPass uses blockchain technology to store encrypted data from individual blood tests, allowing users to prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19.

World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/covid-19-passport-app-health-travel-covidpass-quarantine-event/


Even if not obligatory per se, it is not hard to conceive a scenario where digital health passes become as common as smartphones. Which means that if you wish to travel or simply efficiently do business you will not have much choice but to get one. The importance of data protection and governance will become even more critical, especially with regards to how such personal data as health records would be shared across the borders.
Not to mention the whole aspect of the application itself. Once Digital Health Passes will get popularity, the spectrum of use cases which they cover would surely expand.

Maybe we will be able to pass information about our food allergies when making a travel or restaurant booking. Maybe our health status will be monitored by health insurance companies.

What is certain, is that a new age is coming.

And our personal information will not be so personal anymore.

Who is really driven by hate here?

In their recent efforts of promoting so called “inclusion” one of the major cartoon TV published a graphic on their social networks, targeted at children, which was encouraging the use of “gender non-conforming pronouns” (hope, I got it right…).

In case you didn’t know (but hey, your kids ought to know now!) everyone can come up with their (his/her/zis/them etc…) pronouns to identify their (his/her/zis/them etc…) own gender category, and expect everyone else to follow that. Refusing to do this is disrespectful, not inclusive and simply hateful. (Source: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/milton-quintanilla/there-are-many-gender-identities-cartoon-network-teaches-children-how-to-use-different-gender-pronouns.html )

So… Rejoice Fellow Citizen, your TV channel is now teaching Newspeak to your kids!
Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 are not knocking at your door anymore, they have already stormed your house with their muddy boots and making themselves comfortable on your couch.

Apparently language matters. And the proponents of the great cultural revolution perfectly know that, after all they are all good Marxist scholars.

Once you hijack the language you can pave the way to people’s minds and souls.

If I can bend society around me and all my social interactions, so that they subdue to my subjective view of reality then indeed the possibilities are limitless.
I can be anything.
Anything, in that amorphous, pudding-like mass of conforming jelly (non-conforming to gender, resisting supremacies yet so obedient in whatever the corporations are telling them) that our society becomes.

And so… I can’t help but wonder.

Who is really driven by hate here?

People, who refuse acknowledging something that just plays whack-a-mole with their inherent sense of Truth?
Or people, who despise the Truth so much that they are expecting everyone around them to participate in their lie?

Who is really trying to impose their worldview and not being ‘inclusive’ enough?

People who denounce the right of others to ‘self-identify’?
Or rather those who deny the others the right to objectively observe & name reality for what it is?

There is something off about this Christmas Nativity scene at St.Peter’s square.

If you think 2020 wasn’t awkward enough, here comes an eerie, symbolical scene for its ending.
A babushka style Mary and Joseph, (ancient?) astronaut, an Uruk-Hai warrior (seriously!), and an angel that looks like taken from a Starbucks logo.

Source: vaticannews.va

It is not an avangard street art, from a squat. Nope, its this years Nativity Scene revealed few days ago in front of St. Peters Basilica in Vatican. If this is the way that Holy See wants to sum up the weirdness of what we all experienced in 2020 then I guess they achieved their goal.

One might say; this is just art. A creative interpretation, a step beyond the trivial depiction of what we all already know. Yet, if art is to instil in us specific emotions – then why is that it does not bring the joy that should be associated with Christmas. Instead… the feeling I get when looking at these sculptures is something that I would describe as a mix of amusement and uneasiness. It just feels off.

Particularly, that astronaut, that seems to be copy pasted from some fringe historians stories about ancient aliens. If you look closely you will see that its holding something in its hands… is it a gift?

As Catholic, I do believe that symbols are meaningful. So I wonder; is this just a artistic flop or a well thought, obscured preview of a things to come?

Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-12/st-peters-square-christmas-tree-creche-lighting-ceremony.html

Recommended commentary on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toBAk6bkuCE&ab_channel=DrTaylorMarshall

The Great Reset

It seems we are living in interesting times, indeed. We are seeing a global shift. Wheels have been put into motion.

The Great Reset is nigh.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum described it like this;

“The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”

source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/

That future is being decided, as it seems above the head of a common man. The governments and big corporations, are putting their hands together in a tight grip to secure peace and prosperity.

What do these new plans for The Great Reset mean, exactly?


Well for one, a shift to a so called “stakeholder capitalism” where private corporations play the role of “trustees of society” and directly or indirectly influence the way the economy is shaped as well as the some of the laws.

In theory, this means that all the big players, governments and major private organisations come together to tackle global challenges such as social, environmental issues or, you got it… the pandemic.

But what that could mean in practice?

It could mean further acceleration of the trends we are seeing today.

Globalisation, higher taxation, invigilation, more rules to follow (such as climate/diversity/inclusion) which only big players can abide in order to stay afloat. More barriers and obstacles for small and medium size business, which not only have to deal with a post-Covid impact but also higher taxes (which big players can avoid more easily) and an additional set of requirements with regards to policies/infrastructure etc. enforced by them via legislature.

So in short – when big boys/girls get together (even if in theory for the”greater good”) then there might not be any space left for the little ones.

So fellow Citizens… erm… rejoice?


Some are pointing out, that such a merger of state and business, is always a murky water (as history shows).

Some even go further, and call The Great Reset an openly a fascist agenda, as in it’s original definition where fascism means “using the state to protect and advance the interests of the wealthy elite.“. (Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/a-look-at-the-fascist-agenda-behind-the-great-reset-and-the-wefs-reboot-propaganda/)

Others warn of neo-feudalism and there are those who see it as a paving road to… you got it New World Order.

And I do mean here some backwater, foil hatter from demonetised YouTube channel – but a renown dignitaries such as Archbishop Vigano (former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States).

In his recent letter to President Donald Trump, Vigano writes a dire warning of a things to come, if the globalist agenda continues in it’s current form.

“The purpose of the Great Reset is the imposition of a health dictatorship aiming at the imposition of liberticidal measures, hidden behind tempting promises of ensuring a universal income and cancelling individual debt. The price of these concessions from the International Monetary Fund will be the renunciation of private property and adherence to a program of vaccination against Covid-19 and Covid-21 promoted by Bill Gates with the collaboration of the main pharmaceutical groups. Beyond the enormous economic interests that motivate the promoters of the Great Reset, the imposition of the vaccination will be accompanied by the requirement of a health passport and a digital ID, with the consequent contact tracing of the population of the entire world”

source: https://taylormarshall.com/2020/10/archbishop-viganos-open-letter-president-trump-great-reset.html

Conspiracy theory? An accurate prediction of how things are going to play out?

Regardless, of ones opinion on this – there is one thing we all should bare in mind, in these times of Great Reset.

Freedom once taken, is very difficult to be reclaimed.

Freedom once taken, is very difficult to be reclaimed.

New World Order goes mainstream? BBC warns of a global totalitarian government that could rise to power “indefinitely”.

It is a rare treat to see, an article in the mainstream media hinting on the New World Order scenario, that is not mocking or dismissive.

The marriage of AI & some kind of a global power (such as world government or multi-national corporation) that enslaves society through powerful technology is a theme which has been explored a lot in various sci-fi stories and scientific books. Max Tegmark is analysing such scenario in the first chapter of his book “Life 3.0” with such a terrifying accuracy that one can’t help but wonder, if this is a prediction or a glimpse to what is really happening behind the curtain.

BBC picked up on writings of another famous AI expert – Nick Bostrom, and entertains the thought of a AI-powered dystopia, in their recent article The grim fate that could be ‘worse than extinction’.

The Author of the article does not only explore the grim possibility of the global enslavement done through the means of omnipresent surveillance but also quite accurately points out to how the AI-supported technology can already be used in politics, media or propaganda.

“AI also underpins the growth of online misinformation, which is another tool of the authoritarian. AI-powered deep fakes, which can spread fabricated political messages, and algorithmic micro-targeting on social media are making propaganda more persuasive. This undermines our epistemic security – the ability to determine what is true and act on it – that democracies depend on. “

Credit: BBC Di Minardi

In the era of Facebook and TikTok controversies, in the world where our personal data is the new oil, the primary resource through which the industries gain their wealth and governments stay in power we ought to take such scenarios seriously. And we ought to ask have a discussion on where this is leading us. What will eventually happen if we just “go with the flow”?

Yet, much too often, such concerns are marginalised and thrown into the same pot as the flat Earth theories.

So did BBC just join the Foil Hat club?

Truth be told, the bare fact that this story appeared in the mainstream media leaves me with a question.

Are we being warned to resist?
Or are we just being familiarised with the notion… so that we accept?

Flippy and his friends. How Covid-19 pandemic is creating new job opportunities… for robots.

As the world adapts to the pandemic reality, industries are taking various measures to keep their businesses going. Aim is to reduce the physical interactions between people, and minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
And so the automation of workforce enters new areas and conquers new frontiers. Crowded spaces of restaurant kitchens and convenience stores are some of those.

The opportunities offered by sterile machines become even more tempting, in times were survival of your business could depend on hygienics and cleanliness.

Is that a trend that will help save the economy or is it another step on dehumanising yet another industry?

As one one of the managers, interviewed in the videos below put its:

“People are concerned with human beings involved with their food, and the spread of disease. So if you eliminate human beings from equation in some way shape or form, and replace them with robots people tend to feel safer. “

Sounds like this is where we are heading. Eliminating humans from the equation.

Feels so much safer already, doesn’t it?

Robot cooks are on the way

Flippy the burger frying robot

Meet Model-T grocery store remote controlled robot