Microsoft President: Orwell’s 1984 could happen in 2024

The President of Microsoft recently said in a BBC interview…

I’m constantly reminded of George Orwell’s lessons in his book 1984. You know the fundamental story…was about a government who could see everything that everyone did and hear everything that everyone said all the time. Well, that didn’t come to pass in 1984, but if we’re not careful that could come to pass in 2024.

I want you to really sit and PAUSE with that quote for a second.

The President of Microsoft, which is one of the largest tech companies in the world said that we could live in a 1984 world.

Not this one…

But this one…

And he isn’t saying we could live in this type of world in 100 years or 50 years but in less than 4 years! Wow.

Brad Smith isn’t the first tech billionaire to sound the alarm either. 

Erica Schmidt, former Google CEO and former Chair of the US National Security Commission, said, “We're in a geo-political strategic conflict with China. The way to win is to marshal our resources together to have national and global strategies for the democracies to win in AI.”

I also sounded the alarm when I wrote in 2017…

Hopefully, [stopping the futher development of general artifical intelligence] will be made by some sort of coalition of democratic nations because if it doesn’t happen through democratic consensus then it will happen by dictatorial decree. Left unabated the race for better A.I. will eventually lead to someone getting the upper-hand and so, for example, China could unlock an artificial intelligence so powerful it could give them control over all the global satellites and therefore the globe.1

So what can we as individuals do about this geopolitical and existential crisis?

For one, get the word out! When you’re in a heated political conversation about some recent emotional anecdote our media overlords told us to care about then why not occasionally shift the conversation to the big picture? Another way to get the word out is by consuming and sharing content like this ;). If people start disproportionally clicking on A.I.-related stories then the news would have no choice, but to cover it more. Ideologue drives the news, but so does money.

And two, use your money wisely! Buy less from China and invest more in American companies that do A.I. research. Such an investment will not only help democracy/capitalism win the A.I. arms race, but it’ll likely make you money. What is best for the common good is often best for our own good.

And last, vote for politicians who promise to be tough on China and invest in artificial intelligence. We should create a CIA for AI if we don’t already have one: Artificial Intelligence Agency (AIA). America’s #1 National Security Priority should be to prevent China or Russia from getting the upper hand in A.I. and one way to do that is by using our A.I. capabilities to spy on and sabotage their A.I. development because if we don’t then they will.

If democracy fails then 1984 will prevail.

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