Autonomía digital y tecnológica

Código e ideas para una internet distribuida

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Ten years ago, Facebook already had 15 billion photos in its database. As you uploaded pictures and tagged friends and added date and location data, the software got really, really good at recognizing people’s faces. This facial-recognition capability is mirrored at other companies—and some, such as Amazon, sell it to whoever wants it.

There isn’t some global corporate conspiracy to get you to post a photo of yourself from the old days and today. There has been a global corporate conspiracy to get you to post everything about yourself, continuously, for the past 15 years. Which many of us have done, providing the vast data sets that companies have already trained their neural networks with. If you think that not posting these two photos does anything to surveillance capitalism or the platforms that succeed through it, that’s just not right.

En los 90 las redes eran mucho más libres, cualquiera se podía montar un servidor, estaba en auge el software libre… Todo era fascinante, extraordinario… Después vino un cierre muy preocupante y pasamos al estado actual en el que un puñado de corporaciones dominan la red: Google, Amazon, Facebook…

Estas grandes empresas están capturando el valor generado por la cooperación social para ganar muchísimo dinero. Mientras tanto, aumenta la precariedad de sus usuarios. Hay que pensar en cómo redistribuir la riqueza que se produce en las redes.

Pensábamos que el espacio público tenía una capa nueva: lo digital. Aparte de las piedras o los cuerpos de las gentes, están los datos y los flujos electrónicos que hacen que sucedan nuevas cosas que antes no sucedían. Planteábamos que la gente participase en la construcción de esa capa digital.

La ciudad debe saber solucionar problemas como la basura que produce sin convertirse en un problema ambiental, sin exportarla fuera de sus límites.

Warnock’s Dilemma is the situation described by Bryan Warnock in an August 2000 post to a Usenet group:

“The problem with no response is that there are five possible interpretations:

‘The post is correct, well-written information that needs no follow-up commentary. There’s nothing more to say except “Yeah, what he said.”
‘The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.
‘No one read the post, for whatever reason.
‘No one understood the post, but won’t ask for clarification, for whatever reason.
‘No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.”

Decision Protocol: Consensus

For formal decisions, Enspiral uses consensus decision-making, a methodology with a specific meaning and practice. Consensus does not mean unanimous agreement or engagement from everyone on all decisions. The key concept is consent (you can live with it), which is distinct from agreement (it’s your preference or first choice).

Making Formal Decisions

Anyone can propose a formal decision at any time. We seek open, transparent decision-making and strive to enable the people who are affected by a decision to participate as fully as possible in making it. Enspiral tries to make decisions with the widest possible circle of participants, while recognising the necessity and wisdom of delegating responsibility for certain decisions.

Formal decisions are needed for the following areas (some with the whole network, some with a subset of people or by a process which has been delegated by an Agreement).

Agreements – creating new rules about how Enspiral works
Brand – using the Enspiral logo and identity publicly
Money – spending collective funds or for actions that impact our financial outlook
Tools & Processes – how the network as a whole will work and communicate
Relationships – commitments as a network with individuals or entities (such as invitations to membership, appointing directors, MOUs with ventures or other entities)
Buy-in & Awareness – when seeking a shared sense of ownership and support from the network as a whole

Durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX, la productividad agrícola se multiplicó por 3-4 y las cosechas, por 6. Las claves para conseguirlo fueron la mecanización, la utilización masiva de insumos de síntesis (fertilizantes y pesticidas que provienen fundamentalmente de combustibles fósiles y de la minería), el incremento del regadío y de la extensión agraria, y el desarrollo de variedades híbridas (semillas seleccionadas homogéneas y muy productivas gracias al uso de pesticidas y abonos), todo lo cual requirió de explotaciones en monocultivo cada vez mayores. Es decir, la alimentación agro-ganadero-silvo-industrial (que vamos a resumir en agroindustrial) es petrodependiente.

Hasta entonces, la agricultura se había adaptado a las condiciones del suelo, clima y plagas de cada zona. Para esto, se optaba por diversificar las semillas y los cultivos (el policultivo). Pero la energía fósil en forma de abonos, pesticidas y maquinaria permitió homogeneizar las condiciones ecosistémicas de distintos lugares pudiendo usarse las mismas variedades híbridas en territorios muy distintos. Además, las consecuencias de la uniformidad (agotamiento del suelo, vulnerabilidad ante plagas) se pudieron esquivar temporalmente usando más derivados del petróleo.

El actual sistema alimentario también quebrará fruto de que la producción de las cosechas es probable que descienda como consecuencia de un conjunto de factores interrelacionados y claves en el sostén de los agrosistemas. Por un lado, el cambio climático disminuirá la productividad vegetal en las zonas intertropicales y en muchas del resto del planeta. Una disminución que ya está comenzando. Entre los factores que influirán en esta disminución estará la menor disponibilidad de agua dulce: el cambio climático causará que muchos acuíferos se salinicen por el aumento del nivel del mar, que se pierdan las reservas de agua helada de los glaciares y, en determinadas regiones, desciendan las precipitaciones y aumente la evaporación. Todo ello con mayores dificultades para acceder a la desalación o al bombeo de agua de grandes profundidades en un contexto de agotamiento general de los acuíferos. Al cambio climático y al agotamiento del agua se añaden la disminución de la fertilidad de la tierra fruto de la sobreexplotación. También la incapacidad de mantener una fertilización mineral como hasta ahora, ya que recursos estratégicos como el fósforo también están dando muestras de agotamiento.

The idea of lazy consensus can basically be described as: “Silence is consent”1). It is used as a decision making tool in larger groups of individuals.

The lazy consensus is a very effective tool to speed up development processes, may it be the development of OSS in an online community or the implementation of a new project step in a company. It gives every group member the equal chance to object, if necessary.

Since silence is considered to be consent, it is not obvious, how many members of the respective group have even seen the post, or read the article, or learned about the idea in question (known as Warnock’s Dilemma). The concept of the lazy consensus requires an active community in order to receive enough interest and, if necessary, adequate critical objections.

When using the lazy consensus, there is also a certain risk of receiving decisive objections at an advanced state of the project, implementation, or development. This might cause some turbulence that could have been avoided with another decision taking process.

Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.

Why can’t I get this mundane stuff done? Because I’m burned out. Why am I burned out? Because I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us.

We’ve got venture capital, but we’ve also got the 2008 financial crisis, the decline of the middle class and the rise of the 1%, and the steady decay of unions and stable, full-time employment.

That model began to shift in 1980s, particularly at public universities forced to compensate for state budget cuts. Teaching assistant labor was far cheaper than paying for a tenured professor, so the universities didn’t just keep PhD programs, but expanded them, even with dwindling funds to adequately pay those students. Still, thousands of PhD students clung to the idea of a tenure-track professorship. And the tighter the academic market became, the harder we worked. We didn’t try to break the system, since that’s not how we’d been raised. We tried to win it.

I never thought the system was equitable. I knew it was winnable for only a small few. I just believed I could continue to optimize myself to become one of them.

My new watchword was “Everything that’s good is bad, everything that’s bad is good”: Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt “bad” (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed.

One thing that makes that realization sting even more is watching others live their seemingly cool, passionate, worthwhile lives online.

That enviable mix of leisure and travel, the accumulation of pets and children, the landscapes inhabited and the food consumed seems not just desirable, but balanced, satisfied, and unafflicted by burnout.

Posting on social media, after all, is a means of narrativizing our own lives: What we’re telling ourselves our lives are like.

The “purest” example is the social media influencer, whose entire income source is performing and mediating the self online.

“Branding” is a fitting word for this work, as it underlines what the millennial self becomes: a product.

your phone is a sophisticated camera, always ready to document every component of your life — in easily manipulated photos, in short video bursts, in constant updates to Instagram Stories — and to facilitate the labor of performing the self for public consumption.

Even the trends millennials have popularized — like athleisure — speak to our self-optimization. Yoga pants might look sloppy to your mom, but they’re efficient: You can transition seamlessly from an exercise class to a Skype meeting to child pickup. We use Fresh Direct and Amazon because the time they save allows us to do more work.

Millennial burnout often works differently among women, and particularly straight women with families.

One might think that when women work, the domestic labor decreases, or splits between both partners. But sociologist Judy Wajcman found that in heterosexual couples, that simply wasn’t the case: Less domestic labor takes place overall, but that labor still largely falls on the woman.

The labor that causes burnout isn’t just putting away the dishes or folding the laundry — tasks that can be readily distributed among the rest of the family. It’s more to do with what French cartoonist Emma calls “the mental load,” or the scenario in which one person in a family — often a woman — takes on a role akin to “household management project leader.”

The most common prescription is “self-care.” Give yourself a face mask! Go to yoga! Use your meditation app! But much of self-care isn’t care at all: It’s an $11 billion industry whose end goal isn’t to alleviate the burnout cycle, but to provide further means of self-optimization. At least in its contemporary, commodified iteration, self-care isn’t a solution; it’s exhausting.

My refusal to respond to a kind Facebook DM is thus symptomatic of the sheer number of calls for my attention online: calls to read an article, calls to promote my own work, calls to engage wittily or defend myself from trolls or like a relative’s picture of their baby.

But dumb, illogical decisions are a symptom of burnout.

Living in poverty is akin to losing 13 IQ points. Millions of millennial Americans live in poverty

To be poor is to have very little mental bandwidth to make decisions

Burnout isn’t a place to visit and come back from; it’s our permanent residence.

You don’t fix burnout by going on vacation. You don’t fix it through “life hacks,” like inbox zero, or by using a meditation app for five minutes in the morning, or doing Sunday meal prep for the entire family, or starting a bullet journal.

Why buy and store tools when we can share!

Tools are expensive, and there are many privately owned tools in our community that only get used once in a while. But, if we collectively own and share tools, there’s no need for everybody to spend their hard earned cash to buy their own private tools.

What is the Tool Library?

Newtown Tool Library is a lending library for tools of all sorts. We have a growing collection of second hand and new tools (donations welcome) available for lending to members of the Tool Library. We are located at the Newtown Community Centre and run by volunteers.

In the future, we will also have educational resources such as books, manuals, and occasionally skilled members of our community will run workshops where members can learn new skills as well as the proper use of the tools.

La falacia ecológica, conocida clásicamente como falacia de ambigüedad por división, es un tipo de falacia o error en la argumentación basado en la mala interpretación de datos estadísticos, en el que se infiere la naturaleza de los individuos a partir de las estadísticas agregadas del grupo al que dichos individuos pertenecen. Esta falacia se da a partir del supuesto de que todos los miembros de un grupo muestran las mismas características del grupo. Los estereotipos son un tipo de falacia ecológica muy extendida: por el hecho de pertenecer a un grupo, se aplican falazmente a un individuo alguna de las características “típicas” del grupo en general (como considerar que una persona por ser alemán es extremadamente racional).

Si en un primer momento, las redes sociales permitieron la autoorganización de miles de personas contra sus gobernantes y contra las finanzas internacionales, ahora parece que escándalos como el de Cambridge Analytica nos dibujan un futuro quizá no tan complaciente. ¿Seremos capaces de usar la tecnología para construir un mañana post-capitalista o será usada en nuestra contra como una forma de control social?

Flapper is a jQuery plugin that replicates the split-flap (or “Solari”) displays that used to be common in train stations and airports, and your dad’s alarm clock in the 70s.

To use, just attach Flapper to any input on your page. Whenever the input’s change event is fired, Flapper will update the display.

Purism ha desarrollado su propia distribución PureOS, que es un derivado de Debian, que no contiene binarios propietarios y es muy enfocado en seguridad. Purism también trata de upstream su código para que Debian y otras distros puedan aprovechar de sus mejoras. El plan de Purism es posibilitar Linux como una plataforma móvil para que otras empresas también puedan crear celulares y tabletas de Linux.

el Librem 5 será hardware libre y será posible imprimir sus partes plásticos con una impresora de 3D y fabricar su PCB (placa de circuitos).

El Librem 5 es diseñado para luchar en contra de la colección y comercialización de los datos de usuarios, que es el plan de negocios de Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tencent y ahora Microsoft. Esta tendencia maliciosa está aumentando con más uso de los redes sociales del web y la necesidad de entrenar las inteligencias artificiales (AI) con muchos datos de usuarios. La competencia para obtener la mejor AI esta impulsando la recolección de datos personales.

Además Purism esta creando una plataforma llamada “Liberty” para ofrecer servicios web por un precio fijo mensual, para evitar servicios web como los de Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc., que son “gratis”, pero son basados en la comercialización de los datos de usuarios.

Aproximadamente 80% de toda la energía de un aparato móvil es consumido durante su fabricación inicial. Un celular que dura 1,5 años consumirá dos veces más energía por día que un celular que dura 3,3 años, si la energía de fabricación es incluida en el cálculo.

El Librem 5 tendrá una batería removible y una ranura MicroSD para aumentar su memoria. Utilizará una ranura M.2 para conectar a un modem celular que significa que el modem podrá ser cambiado para soportar bandas de otras regiones y las bandas del futuro.

Purism fue fundado como un California Social Purpose Corporation. A diferencia que una organismo sin fines de lucro, Purism puede tener ganancias con tal que no interfieren en su obligación legal de cumplir con el siguiente propósito:

The Corporation shall be devoted to ensuring the security, privacy, and freedom of the users of its products, and the hardware and software offered by Purism shall conform to the philosophy of the Free Software movement.

Sus estatutos incluyen la obligación de publicar todo el código escrito por Purism bajo un “free software license” y todos sus esquemas de hardware bajo un “free hardware license”.

Para promover una industria más ética que respeta los derechos digitales de usuarios, es necesario tener empresas como Purism que pueden impulsar el uso de software libre por toda la cadena de suministro.

Community First! Village, a 27-acre master planned community just outside Austin, Texas, where more than 200 people who were once chronically homeless live in tiny homes and RVs. Everyone who lives at Community First! pays rent, ranging from $225 to $430 per month; many residents are employed on-site.

This is the idea that fuels Community First! Village. “They have a saying upstairs,” Devore says. “Housing will never cure homelessness, but community will.”

That’s a variation on the “housing first” model of addressing homelessness, which focuses on getting people into permanent, safe housing before dealing other issues like unemployment or addiction. “Community first” takes that idea a step further, with a singular focus on providing housing within community.

AirBnb guests staying in an assortment of stylishly designed tiny homes and an Airstream trailer that are all listed as vacation rentals—part of the village’s mission to bring more people into regular contact and conversation with the homeless.

The village’s design has been optimized for socialization: There are no backyards, only front porches, adorned with potted plants, patio furniture, and the occasional bike. Without plumbing or running water, the tiny homes are grouped around shared bathroom, shower, and laundry facilities. Residents regularly gather for neighborhood dinners in one of four outdoor kitchens, open 24/7.

The number-one rule is that you have to pay rent, which covers roughly 40 percent of the village’s $5 million operating budget. Miss a payment, and you will be asked to leave. Graham says that doesn’t happen much—the retention rate at Community First! is 86 percent.

En informática, bus Factor o (Factor Autobús) es un término usado en proyectos de desarrollo de software, que alude a una gran cantidad de información vital de un proyecto de software limitada solamente a uno o unos pocos desarrolladores, impidiendo la continuación del proyecto en el hipotético caso de que estos desarrolladores clave sean atropellados por un autobús.

Después de décadas de control de la natalidad, algo que hizo que en China haya 30 millones más de hombres que de mujeres, la falta de mujeres ha hecho que las dotes por una novia estén al alza.

En Da’anliu, una aldea agrícola de la provincia de Hubei donde casi todos los vecinos ganan unos 20.000 yuanes (2.500 euros) al año cultivando peras, los precios de las novias han alcanzado más de 200.000 yuanes (25.000 euros). Esto sucedía antes de que las autoridades prohibiesen en agosto pagar más de 20.000 yuanes ante un delito de trata de personas.

On Monday, the blogging platform Tumblr announced it would be removing all adult content after child pornography was discovered on some blogs hosted on the site. Given that an estimated one-quarter of blogs on the platform hosted at least some not safe for work (NSFW) content, this is a major content purge. Although there are ways to export NSFW content from a Tumblr page, Tumblr’s purge will inevitably result in the loss of a lot of adult content.    Unless, of course, Reddit’s data hoarding community has anything to say about it.

On Wednesday afternoon, the redditor u/itdnhr posted a list of 67,000 NSFW Tumblrs to the r/Datasets subreddit. Shortly thereafter, they posted an updated list of 43,000 NSFW Tumblrs (excluding those that were no longer working) to the r/Datahoarders subreddit, a group of self-described digital librarians dedicated to preserving data of all types.

The Tumblr preservation effort, however, poses some unique challenges. The biggest concern, based on the conversations occurring on the subreddit is that a mass download of these Tumblrs is liable to also contain some child porn. This would put whoever stores these Tumblrs at serious legal risk.

Still, some data hoarders are congregating on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels to strategize about how to pull and store the content on these Tumblrs. At this point, it’s unclear how much data that would represent, but one data hoarder estimated it to be as much as 600 terabytes.

Trying to preserve the blogosphere’s favorite nude repository is a noble effort, but doesn’t change the fact that Tumblr’s move to ban adult content will deal a serious blow to sex workers around the world. Indeed, the entire debacle is just another example of how giant tech companies like Apple continue to homogenize the internet and are the ultimate arbiters of what can and cannot be posted online.

The web as a desktop platform

Electron is a framework that allows developers to wrap web code (JavaScript, HTML, and other bits) in a native coating, giving them access to system-level APIs like notifications, file system, and so on, making it simple to deploy on Windows, macOS, Linux and anything else with one language.

Electron today, however, comes with a sizable disadvantage: it’s based on the Chromium browser, which means it’s bundled with an entire instance for each application that uses it on your machine. Having Slack and Chrome open, for example, spawns two isolated Chromium instances, both consuming resources to do much the same thing.

…the original author of any FOSS package or application, by publishing it, would have to accept as fact that any misuse of said software would forever be their responsibility, or at least until that responsibility is, diligently and ceremoniously, transferred to someone else, hot potato style.

FOSS was never about trust in software owners.

It was about not needing to trust them to begin with.

You want to download thousands of lines of useful, but random, code from the internet, for free, run it in a production web server, or worse, your user’s machine, trust it with your paying users’ data and reap that sweet dough. We all do. But then you can’t be bothered to check the license, understand the software you are running and still want to blame the people who make your business a possibility when mistakes happen, while giving them nothing for it? This is both incompetence and entitlement.

Plus how is this any different from using proprietary software? If you’re not going to take full advantage of FOSS, maybe you’re better off spending your money on support contracts anyway. At least then, you are entitled to complain until you’re blue in the mouth. Maybe you can even take someone to court!

We must make software simpler. Much much simpler. And companies who base their service offering on open source software must become more involved in keeping this ecosystem alive in whichever capacity they can.

Software must be made understandable. The essence of FOSS for me can be reduced to one fundamental computing right: the right to refuse to run, on my machines, code that I do not have the option to understand. That is it.

I’m not fundamentally opposed to closed source software, so as long as it runs on someone else’s computer.

However, as we’ve seen, having the source code is not enough to guarantee understandability.

Using the :Git command, you can run any arbitrary git command from inside Vim. I prefer to switch to the shell for anything that generates a log of output, such as git log for example. But commands that generate little or no output are fair game for running from inside Vim (:Git checkout -b experimental for example).

At Vim’s command line, the % symbol has a special meaning: it expands to the full path of the current file. You can use this to run any git command that expects a filepath as an argument, making the command act on the current file.

Amazon has launched a new service that uses machine learning to extract key data from patient records and can potentially help healthcare providers and researchers save money, make treatment decisions, and manage clinical trials. The company announced the service, called Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon’s other recent forays into healthcare include paying almost $1 billion to acquire online prescription service PillPack

It joins other large tech companies that are increasingly focused on healthcare. For example, earlier this year Apple launched a feature that lets customers view their hospital medical records on their iPhones, while Google recently hired former Geisinger CEO David Feinberg to unify and lead the healthcare initiatives across its businesses, including search, Google Brain, Google Fit, and Nest.

Of course, the uploading of medical records to the cloud for machine-learning analysis might questions from patients about how Comprehend Medical will ensure their privacy. Amazon says patient data is encrypted and can only be unlocked by customers who have a key, and that no data processed will be stored or used for training its algorithms. Comprehend Medical complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Openbox Window Manager is allows for custom key-bindings to be created, whereby designated combinations of key presses may be used to undertake virtually any action, and usually much faster than by alternative other means. In addition to being able to control the brightness of your screen, it is also possible to create key-bindings to control the volume as well.

Con nosotras compartieron espacio Víctor Sampedro, que explicó su proyecto didáctico para adelgazar el Gran Hermano Dietética Digital y Alfonso Sánchez Uzábal, que sintetizó la multitud de proyectos emprendidos por Montera34, estudio dedicado a la creación de mapas, repositorios de archivos digitales y tecnologías participativas, siempre bajo el paraguas de los comunes digitales. Continuaron la jornada Monsterrat Boix como parte de la iniciativa que pretende cercenar la brecha de género Wikimujeres y la ingeniera y programadora Margarita Padilla. Ambas reflexionaron e incentivaron el debate sobre las posibilidades de las tecnologías para crear una ciudadanía crítica (y feminista). Completó la jornada Félix de Molina Bergad, que explicó el día a día de TeleK como medio de comunicación comunitario en el corazón de Vallecas.

Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.

Documents seen by The Intercept, marked “Google confidential,” say that Google’s Chinese search app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by the Great Firewall. When a person carries out a search, banned websites will be removed from the first page of results, and a disclaimer will be displayed stating that “some results may have been removed due to statutory requirements.” Examples cited in the documents of websites that will be subject to the censorship include those of British news broadcaster BBC and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Apple users are seen as the ‘invisible poor’ – those who do not look as poor as their financial circumstances.

Apple iPhone users in China are generally less educated, hard-up and with few valuable assets, compared to users of other mobile phone brands such as Huawei or Xiaomi, according to a report by research agency MobData.

Some scripts for displaying a weather forecast on your conky.
They use Accuweather, Weather Underground, National Weather Service (USA) and Weather.com.

They all rely on the same principle: download a bunch of pages, parse them and isolate the necessary info for conky to find.
There is something for everyone: from the minimalistic (1c), to the humongous, larger than life, “I’m a meteorologist” aspect (4).
Check out Conky Companion as well: a graphical app which can help you create your own conkyrc files easily.

When it comes to monitoring your Linux system, few tools can rival Conky. This lightweight system monitoring utility can help you to keep an eye on virtually any aspect of your system, and it offers a huge list of options to choose from. But this flexibility comes at a price: all Conky’s settings are stored in the .conkyrc file, which you have to create and tweak manually. The good news is that once you understand the inner workings of the .conkyrc file, you can easily create powerful Conky configuration profiles.

Sections

  1. Conky Configuration File Commands – Conky settings stuff above the TEXT line.
  2. Conky Variables – Conky display stuff below the TEXT line.
  3. Time Format String Variables – Used by all TIME variables in Conky.
  4. Installing Conky – The quick Conky installation guide.
  5. Notes – Explains things or keeps things from getting too verbose.
  6. About Conky – A short explanation of Conky just in case.
  7. Conky Tips and Tricks – Examples for showing non-native and dynamic information in Conky.

“I believe that all technology is political, especially open source,” he told me. “I believe that the technology industry should have a code of ethics like science or medicine. Working with ICE in any capacity is accepting money in exchange for morality. I am under no obligation to have a rigid code of ethics allowing everyone to use my open source software when the people using it follow no such code of ethics.”

Flowchart to know if a machine is an AI.

In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can.

As it currently stands, the vast majority of the AI advancements and applications you hear about refer to a category of algorithms known as machine learning. These algorithms use statistics to find patterns in massive amounts of data. They then use those patterns to make predictions on things like what shows you might like on Netflix, what you’re saying when you speak to Alexa, or whether you have cancer based on your MRI.

Esto, que parece una chorrada, es el meollo del asunto, ya que es lo que sucede cuando a problemas morales en los que estamos claramente de acuerdo les añadimos una dimensión económica. El efecto fue bien estudiado por Gneezy y Rustichini de la Universidad de California San Diego: al introducir pequeñas multas a los padres que llegaban tarde a recoger a sus niños del colegio, el número de padres que llegaba tarde se multiplicó. Freakonomics lo contaba genial.

Lo que antes era un problema moral (depender de la generosidad del maestro que se queda un rato extra porque tú te retrasas) es de repente una relación económica reglada: esos padres asumían el pago de una cantidad de dinero insignificante (4€/día) por el derecho a poder llegar hasta media hora tarde; ya no es un dilema ético porque el personal del centro sabe que tenemos un trato, así que termino lo que estoy haciendo aunque llegue media hora tarde). Al ponerle precio, nos liberamos del problema moral.