Do We Need a Global Brain?

Jan Sliwa

Abstract


The new trend of Pervasive Computing, based on massively deployed wireless sensor and actor networks, will enable gathering data about the world with an unprecedented accuracy and influencing it. Among many application fields, health support system will permit to measure and transmit the vital health parameters and to exert externally controlled actions on the human body. Such systems provide evident benefits, but also pose great new risks of misuse by totalitarian governments or criminals. Also “good” governments, in their effort to improve the lives of the citizens, may be tempted to rectify their conduct beyond their will and to enforce it with new means of total surveillance. This Global Brain, controlled by authorities advised by experts, too complex to be overseen by the general public, may lead to a revival of the Plato’s Rule of the Philosophers, a Brave New World where democracy is just an empty shell.


Keywords


Pervasive Computing;Social Impact of Technology;Experts' Rule

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