Your politics are written in your face

Researchers claim that in future artificial intelligence will be able, with a high degree of accuracy, to determine an individual’s political opinions, their level of intelligence and their propensity to criminal behaviour.

The researchers acknowledge that such software could be misused (for example to target people on the grounds of propensity to criminal behaviour even when they had committed no criminal act. They acknowledge that many people with criminal tendencies never, in fact commit crimes).

As regards political leanings, the researchers acknowledge that software will be most accurate in pinpointing those on the far-right or left rather than the majority of the population who occupy the middle-ground of the political spectrum.

While I am not a scientist (my degrees are in history and politics), it strikes me that the decline of religious faith has led to a growth in (sometimes) uncritical belief in the claims of scientists. Science is, perhaps in danger of becoming a secular religion where claims are taken as gospel (pun intended)!

Of course scientists will object that their research is peer reviewed and subject to rigorous examination. In contrast, they will contend religion is based purely on faith and it’s claims are, therefore unverifiable. Good science is certainly subject to rigorous peer review and a combination of peer review and the passage of time will prove (or disprove) the claims of the researchers.

I am, as I say above no scientist. However, on the face of it the claims made by the researchers appear to me to be reductionist in nature and overly simplistic.

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