Some time back I was watching a video on TED. The talk was about what is called Algorithmic Trading – basically going on to state that trading happens by computer algorithms that analyse trends and decide on buy / sell decisions. It goes on to illustrate the danger in this machine operated model. The whole thing sounds very plausible.
Here is the video for you to look at…
This caused me to panic a bit. And it should cause you panic too if any / some / all of the following are true for you.
- You can’t get up in time in the morning without one of your gadgets waking you up (a gadget other than a simple mechanical / electronic alarm clock)
- You worry and become anxious about getting to work if your car is broken down and would prefer to work from home
- You don’t remember who you are meeting at work today / next hour without your calendar telling you about it
- You have not written anything in recent times other than to fill your cheque and signing a few Government paperwork (tax, application etc.) and don’t remember your handwriting anymore
- You don’t know the phone numbers of your mom, spouse, kids, siblings because you call them from your address book entry and never committed it to your personal memory
- You have a number of friends who you recognise by their photograph – some not even by that – but have never met them; you met them on Social Networks
- You have sent a text message to your partner in recent times and your partner was unable to state with certainty whether it was really sent by you or the phone had decided to flirt with your partner
- You have never been to a bank where your life’s investments are held in the last several years; although they are just walking distance from your home
- You have not stood in a queue at a ticket counter in recent times and believe that a waiting time is always indicated by the cursor turning from an arrow to an hourglass or a hypnotic ring that goes round and round
- You can’t communicate your ideas to a customer without using some slide deck from your computer
- You get a persecution complex or other psycological ailments if your broadband or telephone is not working
- You have not read a physical book in the last several years and you work in a field where you need to keep abreast of latest developments
- And the list goes on…
What’s The Solution?
In my view, the only way that we can overcome a complete takeover by the machines is to evolve security solutions that will protect us from machines too, other than from criminal elements in human society. What does this mean?
It simply means that we need solutions that can analyse patterns in machine to machine interactions in realtime and decide if there are any patterns that suggest that there is a problem.
The only problem with this approach is that there may be patterns that don’t show up as patterns to the Analytics engine because it has locked-step with it. No! The solution is not to create an Analytics solution to mind the first Analytics application. It is better that we bring in a human intervention here.
But speed is of essence…
So, it is important to bring this to a mobile device where a human user can be notified about the situation and given a choice to touch-off an action. Of course, we will need a secure and fast network to ensure real-time critical tasks are accomplished as required.
We need a Security system that uses Analytics and presents situations for a human being to exercise choice in a mobile application over a secure and designed-for-speed network. This is how personal life should be safeguarded while we allow all the digitisation we have allowed our life to have!
But, hold on… What if the Analytics solution colluded with the mobile application and went on its own trip? Ha ha … That is actually called a bug – And, they will never collude because they hate each other 🙂