Date
16 October 2018
Protesters stage a rally in London to assail the misuse of Facebook users' personal data.  Photo: Reuters
Protesters stage a rally in London to assail the misuse of Facebook users' personal data. Photo: Reuters

Facebook and Frankenstein

In the summer of 1816, a group of young writers gathered in a villa in Lake Geneva. They were too bored and decided to write horror stories to challenge themselves. It might have been the world’s most important writing competition.

Irish author Bram Stoker wrote his most successful book, the vampire tale Dracula, while English writer Mary Shelley’s work later evolved into the novel about Victor Frankenstein.

In Frankenstein, a young scientist tried to create a perfect version of a man, but soon realized he had made a terrible mistake. He failed to control the monster’s power, and it started to kill many people, including Victor’s brother.

The tale reminds me of Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In media accounts of his recent 10-hour testimony before members of the US Congress, Zuckerberg repeatedly told lawmakers in reply to their questions: “I don’t have that information on hand and will offer a written reply later.” He gave that answer up to 40 times.

Zuckerberg said that artificial intelligence might be the solution to tackle the trickiest issue of content censorship.

But exactly how that could be done, he appeared to have no clear idea yet.

During his testimony, Zuckerberg mentioned artificial intelligence (AI) no less than 30 times.

Can he really harness AI to control the “data monster” he has created?

The full article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 27

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation Chairman

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