Computers could soon hold conversations

Boffin predicts we'll be having awkward conversations about porn searches to Hal-esque PCs
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A computer ethics professor from De Montfort University Leicester has predicted that we will soon be able to hold full conversations with computers as a way of controlling them.

Professor Simon Rogerson claims that before long computers will also be able to track our every move, and that we may adopt cybernetic implants to more effectively use them.

He concedes that one upshot of this will be a lack of privacy. Clearly and concisely vocalising certain less wholesome web searches could be somewhat awkward in itself, but throw in a computer that may feel inclined to make comments upon your activities and things could get very surreal.

"There is one thing that is certain: today’s technology will be obsolete in a shorter time than any of us think. It is amazing how long the keyboard has remained the premier input device," claims Rogerson. "Subsequently there may well be a blurring of the boundary between humankind and technology as we have more and more opportunity to enhance our personal performance through technology. Technology will become sufficiently advanced that we can simply communicate with it in the same way we communicate with another person. If all this happens, the potential benefits escalate but alongside this, so do the potential harms."

“For example, no longer will we need to be computer literate to access online services and products, we will be able to have a simple conversation with a computer and ask it to do what we want. Computers will need to recognise us in order to communicate efficiently and the downside is that they will know where we are and what we are doing at all times – whoever or whatever has access to those systems has power over us.”

Image courtesy of Slashfilm.

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