From offensive facial recognition software to an anti-Semitic TwitterBot, we count nine times technology went wrong!
9 – Google Photos,
- As any photographer or serial holidayer knows good photo-managing software can be hard to find. Google Photos is a popular option – as long as you can take its casual racism!
- You see, Google Images uses facial recognition software to tag people in images. This is designed to save time when categorising photos or uploading to social media. However Google got into some real hot water when it mistakenly categorised two African-American men as monkeys. The story quickly went viral and led to some fierce online debates about racist A.I.
- But at least Google Photos doesn’t discriminate. It has also mistaken several white people for dogs or seals.
8 – Drone Attack,
- When drones first hit the mass market many people feared they’d be misused to invade our privacy. But did anyone consider that drones might revolt and try to kill us?
- Okay, so most drones can’t think for themselves, but there have been many cases of them mysteriously dropping out of the sky and hitting people in the face. For instance, a drone carrying mistletoe in a TGIF restaurant fell and cut a part of someone’s nose off. And on another occasion a drone delivering asparagus to a Dutch restaurant crashed and literally burst into flames.
- The best thing you can do is to always keep one eye on the sky because drones are always watching…
7 – Google Earth,
- Ah, Google Earth. You’re basically a socially acceptable Big Brother. This incredible online resource is super helpful for finding addresses or looking at distant locations – but it can also be used for evil.
- For example, in Mumbai in 2008, the Indian government requested that Google blur certain Google Earth images. It seems terrorists had been using the satellite software to gain valuable intel and plot an attack.
- Meanwhile, in the UK, thieves used Google Earth to find churches with valuable lead roofs. Although it’s hard to believe, they used this information to steal the metal and sell it on the black market. I don’t know… That seems like a lot of effort. Think I’d rather bag groceries.
6 – GPS Mishaps,
- Show of hands those who know how to use a map and compass? Yep, this once essential skill has become almost obsolete thanks to Sat Nav and GPS technologies. But it’s not always a good idea to place all our faith in navigation devices…
- Did you know that a disturbingly high number of drivers have driven off cliffs, into embankments, or even into the freaking Pacific Ocean while following the advice of their trusty GPS? One woman ended up caught in a golf course sandtrap, while another followed her device onto a railway track. She ended up getting collected by a train and carried 800 metres!
- So, a quick PSA: when driving trust your eyes and ears first, and your GPS second.