‘Fake facts’ are concern of future technology

Saturday, April 28, 2018

There’s an old story that goes like this.

A college professor walks into his lecture class, takes out a tape recorder, pushes the button to start the recorded lesson for the day and walks out of the lecture hall.

He returns an hour later to see an empty room with a hundred student tape recorders all recording his lecture.

Maybe that was the first sign of how technology was going to change our world.

Of course when you tell that tale today, many youngsters don’t know what a tape recorder is.

I listened to an interesting radio program this week where a group of experts offered predictions on the future of communication technology. Their educated guesses on what the future has to offer was enough to scare your pants off.

I have long admitted that current social media technology is far beyond my limited understanding.

And like so many other aspects of life, there is both good and bad news on the horizon.

The radio experts unanimously believe that advances in just 10 short years will make today’s social media look like the horse and buggy.

Much more information, much faster information and countless more ways to have that information available on many new platforms.

But we have reached the point — I believe — where technology has outpaced our ability to process all that is available.

For all the fun we have viewing videos of the grandkids, the downside is that much of what’s available in our new emerging world is simply not true.

And because we are unable or unwilling to detect what is real and what is fake, we find ourselves at the mercy of information.

My concern goes far beyond what we now label as “fake news.” My concern is “fake facts.”

Far, far too many people accept as fact anything and everything they discover in countless new ways through technology.

And once that new “fact” is digested, it becomes real, regardless of the accuracy.

Here’s the dirty little secret that social media technology truly understands.

Much of our population is too dumb, too lazy and far too gullible. Much of our population abandons common sense and logic and willingly accepts information they should know is false.

So let’s fast-forward those predicted 10 years of advancement and see where we are.

We could well find ourselves a population spoon-fed information that will guide our daily lives and thus allow us to abandon our normal thought process.

We could well find ourselves controlled by forces with a false agenda, based on false information and accepted by a gullible population.

When we permit others to fully control the flow of information, rest assured, it will not end well.

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