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Tracken: Fifty years from now ubiquitous (alomtegenwoordig) tracking will be the norm

10-Tracking (1:14) (47 views)

“We zullen niet alleen onszelf en anderen tracken, maar elk ding”

Ontcijferen wie we zijn
We are opaque (ondoorzichtig) to ourselves and need all the help we can get to decipher (ontcijferen) who we are. Our modern aid is self-measurement. But the noble pursuit (zoektocht) of unmasking our hidden nature with selfmeasurement has a short history. Until recently it took an especially dedicated person to find a way to measure themselves without fooling themselves. Scientific, self-tracking was expensive, troublesome, and limited. But in the last few years extremely tiny digital sensors that cost a few pennies have made recording paramaters so easy (just click a button), and the varieties of parameters so vast, that almost anyone can now measure a thousand different aspect of themselves. Already these self-experiments have started to change our ideas of medicine, health, and human behaviour. (p. 237)

Overal zijn apparaatjes voor
Digital magic has shrunk (gekrompen) devices such as thermometers, heart rate monitors, motion trackers, brain wave detectors, and hundreds of complex medical appliances to the size of words on this page. A few are shrinking to the size of the period (punt) following this sentence (zin). These macroscopic measurers can be inserted into watches, clothes, spectacles, or phones, or inexpensively dispersed (verspreid) in our rooms, cars, offices, and public spaces. (p. 237-238)

Self-tracking is much broader than health. It is as big as our life itself. Tiny wearable digital eyes and ears can record every second of our entire day – who we saw and what we said – to aid (helpen) our memories. Our stream of email and text, when saved, forms an ongoing diary of our mind. We can add the record of the music we listened to, the books and articles we read, the places we visited. The significant particulars of our routine movements and meetings, as well as nonroutine events and experiences, can also be funneled (getrechterd) into bits and merged (samen gesmolten) into a chronological flow.
This flow is called lifestream. (p. 244)

Anderen opnemen in onze lifestream en omgekeerd
Every person generates their own lifestream. When I met you, your lifestream and mine intersect (doorkruisen) in time. If we are going to meet next week, they intersect in the future; if we met, or even shared a photo last year, then our lifestreams intersected in the past. Our streams become richly braided (gevlochten) with incredible complexity, but the strict chronological nature of each one means that they are easy to navigate. We naturally slide along a timeline to home in on an event. “It happened after the Christmas trip but before my birthday.” (p. 245)

Facebook is een voorbeeld van lifestream
But in social media today we have several working examples of lifestreams: Facebook. Your Facebook stream is an ongoing flow of pictures, updates, links, pointers, and other documenattion from your life. New pieces are continualy added to the front of the stream. If you care to, you can add widgets to Facebook that capture the music you are listening to or the movies you are streaming. Facebook even provides a timeline interface to review the past. When a friend (or stranger) likes a post or tages a person in a picture, those two streams mingle. And each day Facebook is adding more current events and news streams and company updates into the worldstream. (p. 246)

Je gedrag veranderen begint met meten
But even all this is still only part of the picture. Lifestreaming can be thought of as an active, conscious tracking. People actively curate their stream when they snap a photo on their phones, or tag friends, or deliberately check-in to a place with Foursquare. Even their exercise Fitbit data, counting steps, is active, in that it is meant to be paid attention to. You can’t change your behaviour unless you pay attention in some capacity. (p. 246)

Lifelogging, een grote stap verder
There is an equally important domain of tracking that is not conscious or active. This passive type of tracking is sometimes called lifelogging. The idea is to simply, mechanically, automatically, mindlessly, completely track everything all the time. Record everything that is recordable without prejudice (zonder vooroordelen), and for all your life. You only pay attention to it in the future when you may need it. Lifelogging is a hugely wasteful and inefficient process since most of what you lifelog is never used. But like many inefficient processes (such as evolution), it also contains genius. Lifelogging is possible now only because computation and storage and sensors have become so cheap that we can waste them with little cost. But the creative “wasting” of computation has been the recipe for many of the most succesful digital products and companies, and the benefits of lifelogging also lie in its extravagent use of computation. (p. 246-247)

Vier categorieën
The point of lifelogging is to create totall recall (iets in herinnering roepen). If a lifelog records everything in your life, then it could recover anything you experienced even if your meaty mind may have forgotten it. It would be like being able to google your life, if in in fact your life were being indexed and fully saved. (p. 248)

An embrace of an expanded version of lifelogging would offer these four categories of benefits:
* A constant 24/7/365 monitoring of vital body measurements
* An interactive, extended memory of people you met, conversations you had, places you visited, and events you participated in
* A complete passive archive of everything that you have ever produced, wrote, or said
* A way of organizing, shaping, and “reading” your own life (p. 249)

Twee ‘problemen’, uitdagingen
For many skeptics, there are two challenges that will doom lifelogging to a small minority. First, current social pressure casts self-tracking as the geekiest (‘gekste”) thing you could possibly do.
() Second, how can lifelogging work when each person will generate petabytes, if not exabytes of data each year? There is no way anyone can troll through that ocean of bits. You’ll drown without a single insight. (p. 250)

Gegenereerde data analyseren is niet gemakkelijk
That is roughly true with today’s software. Making sense of the data is an immense, time-consuming problem. You have to be highly numerate, technically agile (vaardig), and supremely motivated to extract menaing from the river of data you generate. That is why self-tracking is still a minority sport. However, cheap artificial intelligence will overcome much of this. (p.250-251)

Nog een stap verder: de internet of things
Still, the picture is not big enough. We – the internet of people – will track ourselves, much of our lives. But the internet of things is much bigger, and billions of things will track themselves too. In the coming decades nearly every object that is manufactured will contain a small sliver of silicon that is connected to the internet. One consequence of this wide connection is that it will become feasible (mogelijk) to track how each thing is used with great precision. (p. 251)

The design of the internet of everything, and the nature of the cloud that it floats in, is to track data. The 34 billion internet-enabled devices we expect to add to the cloud in the next five years are built to stream data. And the cloud is built to keep the data. Anything touching this cloud that is able to be tracked will be tracked. (p. 252)

List of routine tracking today
Car movements
Highway traffic
Ride-share taxis
Long-distance travel
Drone surveillance
Postal mail
Utilities (energie en water gebruik)
Cell phone location and call logs
Civic cameras
Commercial and private spaces (overal hangen cameras)
Smart home
Home surveillance
Interactive devices
Grocery loyalty cards (bonuskaarten)
IRS (financiën)
Credit cards

E-wallets and e-banks
Photo face recognition
Web activities
Social media
Search browsers
Streaming devices
Book reading
Fitness trackers

Big Brother?
It is shockingly easy to imagine what power would accrue (toenemen) to any agency that could integrate all these streams. The fear of Big Brother stems directly from how technically easy it would be to stitch these together. At the moment, however, most of these streams are independent. Their bits are not integrated or correlated. (p. 255)

Tracking wordt de norm
If you look at the above list of routine tracking today, it is not difficult to extrapolate another 50 years. All that was previously unmeasurable is becoming quantified, digitized, and trackable. We’ll keep tracking ourselves, we’ll keep tracking our friends, and our friends will track us. Companies and governements will track us more. Fifty years from now ubiquitous (alomtegenwoordig) tracking will be the norm. (p. 255)

Overeenkomst met het woord “kopiëren”
Tracking follows a similar inevitable dynamic. Indeed, we can swap the term “tracking” in the preceding (voorafgaande) paragraphs for “copying” in the following paragraps to get a sense of its parallels:
The internet is the world’s largest, fastest tracking machine, and anything that touches it that can be tracked will be tracked. What the internet wants is to track everything. We will constantly self-track, track our friends, be tracked by friends, companies and governements. This is deeply troubling to citizens, and to some extent to companies as well, because tracking was previously seen as rare and expensive. Some people will fight hard against the bias (neiging) to track and some will eventually work with the bias. Those who figure out how to domesticate tracking, to make it civil and productive, will prosper (zullen slagen), while those who try only to prohibit (verbieden) and outlaw it will be left behind. Consumers say they don’t want to be tracked, but in fact they keep feeding the machine with their data, because they want to claim their benefits.
The bias to track is technological rather than merely social of cultural. It would be true in a different nation, even in a command economy, even with a different origin story, even on another planet. But while we can’t stop tracking, it does matter greatly what legal and social regimes surround it. Ubiquitous (alom aanwezig) tracking is inevitable but we have significant choices about its character. (p. 256-257)

Van 80 bibliotheken van Alexandrië naar 320 naar ??
The fastest-increasing quantity on this planet is the amount of information we are generating. It is (and has been) expanding faster than anything else we can measure over the scale of decades.
() Two economists at UC Berkeley tallied up (telden op) the total global production information and calculated that new information is growing at 66 percent per year. () It is no coincidence (toeval) that 66 percent per year is the same as doubling every 18 months, which is the rate of Moore’s Law. Five years ago humanity stored several hundred exabytes of information. That is the equivalent of each person on the planet having 80 Library of Alexandrias. Today we average 320 libraries each. (p. 257)

An increasing percentage of the information gathered each year is due to the information that we generate about that information. This is called meta-information. Each digital bit we capture encourages us to generate another bit concerning it. (p. 258)

Bits willen ‘erbij horen’
Metadata is the new wealth because the value of bits increases when they are linked to other bits. The least productive life for a bit is to remain naked and alone. A bit uncopied, unshared, unlinked with other bits will be a short-lived bit. The worst future for a bit is to be parked in some dark isolated data vault (kelder, gewelf). What bits really want is to hang out with other related bits, be replicated widely, and maybe become a metabit, or an action bit in a piece of durable (duurzaam) code. If we could personify bits, we’d say;

Bits want to move
Bits want to be linked to other bits
Bits want to be reckoned (rekening houden) in real time
Bits want to be duplicated, replicated, copied
Bits want to be meta (p. 258-259)


Surveillance of coveillance?
Of course, this is pure anthropomorphization (vermenselijking). Bits don’t have wills. But they do have tendencies. Bits that are related to other bits will tend to be copied more often. () Since bits want to duplicate, replicate, and be linked, there’s no stopping the explosion of information and the science fiction levels of tracking. Too many of the benefits we humans covet (nastreven) derive from streams of data. Our central choice now is: What kind of tracking do we want? Do we want a one-way panopticon, where “they” know about us but we know nothing about them? Or could we construct a mutual, transparent kind of “coveillance” that involves watching the watchers? The first option is hell, the second tractable (handelbaar). (p. 259)

Een asymmetrische verhouding
We tend to be uncomfortable being tracked today because we don’t know much about who is watching us. We don’t know what they know. We have no say in how the information is used. They are not accountable (verantwoordelijk) to correct it. They are filming us but we can’t film them. And the benefits for being watched are murky (duister) and concealed (verborgen). The relationship is unbalanced and asymmetrical.
Ubiquitous surveillance is inevitable. Since we cannot stop the system from tracking, we can only make the relationship more symmetrical. It’s a way of civilizing coveillance. This will take both technological fixes (aanpassingen) and new social norms. (p. 260)

Van giga naar peta, exa of zillion bytes
Everything else in the realm of data is headed to infinity (oneidigheid). Or at least astronomical quantities (hoeveelheden). The average bit effectively becomes anonymous, almost undetectable, when measured against the scale of planetary data. In fact, we are running out of prefixes to indicate how big this new realm is. Gigabytes are on your phone. Terabytes were once unimaginably enormous, yet today I have three terabytes sitting on my desk. The next level up is peta. Petabytes are the new normal for companies. Exabytes are the current planetary scale. We’ll probably reach zetta in a few years. Yotta is the last scientific term for which we have an official measure of magnitutde. Bigger than yotta is blank. Until now, any more than a yotta was a fantasy not deserving an offical name. But we’ll be flinging around yottabytes in two decades or so. For anything beyond yotta, I propose we use the single term “zillion” – a flexable notation to cover any and all new magnitudes at this scale. (p. 264)

We zullen verbaasd staan te kijken
We are on our way to manufacturing 54 billion sensors every year by 2020. Spread around the globe, embedded in our cars, draped over our bodies, and watching us at home and on public streets, this web of sensors will generate another 300 zillionbytes of data in the next decade. Each of those bits will in turn generate twice as many megabits. Tracked, parsed, and cognified by utilitarian AIs, this vast ocean of informational atoms can be molded (gemodelleerd) into hundreds of new forms, novel products, and innovational services. We will be astounded (verbaasd) at what is possible by a new level of tracking ourselves. (p. 267)

Twaalf technologische krachten die onze toekomst zullen vormen
01. Becoming (worden) – 02. Cognifying (slimmeren) – 03. Flowing (stromen) – 04. Screening (kijken) – 05. Accessing (toegangen) – 06. Sharing (delen) – 07. Filtering (filteren) – 08. Remixing (remixen) – 09. Interacting (interacteren) – 11. Questioning (vragen) – 12. Beginning (beginnen)  

Citaat 384 (maandag 14 augustus 2016)
Homepage Citaten 2016

Door Hans van Duijnhoven

Bibliothecaris sinds september 1979. Werkzaam in de regio Noord Oost Brabant.

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