If we want smart cities staffed by super-citizens, health experts need to create super-babies
Even if authorities truly believe their dehumanizing programs are for our own good, there’s scant evidence that our betters understand what our best interests really are. A quick survey of the present situation is a grim predictor of the future: addictive smartphones, robotic warehouses, smart city surveillance states, algorithmic mate-sorting, corporate opioids, adolescent hormone-blockers—it’s as if we’re the subjects of a misguided experiment.
Unfortunately, perpetual suspicion is an uncomfortable state of mind. No one wants to live like that.
After reading my recent article about a well-funded effort to create digital models of babies’ brains, and then adapt actual baby brains to idealized digital models, a reader asked me:
“Why is it so outrageous that willing parents might allow science to observe the development of their infants for the furthering of childhood development research?”
This reader is a mother herself, so she has a vested interest in improved outcomes. All parents want their children to grow up healthy and happy. Most are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
In order to answer this concerned mother, three questions must be addressed:
Who is doing the research? On whom? To what end?
My replies are: Unaccountable experts. On us. For the benefit of elites.
How to Make a Super-Baby
The program under discussion is “The First 1000 Days,” a $45 million effort by the biomedical initiative Wellcome Leap. This initiative’s connections to DARPA, the World Economic Forum, and Silicon Valley were recently uncovered by Whitney Webb at Unlimited Hangout.
Wellcome Leap’s proposal is fairly simple:
STEP 1: Scan the baby’s brain. Neuroimaging is the most direct route, at least initially. Near-infrared spectroscopy is quite effective at measuring blood flow to different parts of the brain, especially while the subject is on the move. But you can’t have babies crawling around with electro-helmets on their heads all day. At least, not yet.
To get around this limitation, you can fit three-month old babies with various sensors, then correlate the data with cameras placed around the home. Health experts using AI algorithms will then monitor the infants’ movements, body positions, behaviors, and utterances until the age of 3.
STEP 2: Use this information to infer the child’s neurological development—particularly the prefrontal cortex. This region is responsible for executive function: self-regulation, error correction, working memory, attention flexibility, and ultimately, moral decision-making.
This isn’t some sci-fi scenario. The technology already exists.
For example, a 2020 Nature article describes a European team’s ingenious invention: the “smart jumpsuit.” Resembling a deranged Science Fair project, smart jumpsuits are basically baby pajamas equipped with various motion sensors synced to footage from multiple cameras. By monitoring the infant’s movements and coordination, brain development can be inferred.
As the infant grows older, iPad apps, robotic toys, and continuous surveillance can then record and manipulate executive function, focusing on self-control, turn-taking, and reaction times, as well as language acquisition.
STEP 3: Create detailed digital models of these infants’ early neurological development. In the first year of life, a baby’s brain creates an overabundance of synaptic connections. As the infant grows and learns, these connections are “pruned” down to the most efficient pathways.
Already, artificial neural networks exist which mirror an infant’s natural pruning process. A large number of possible computational pathways are narrowed down through machine learning, saving tons of power. This process has been especially effective in natural language processing and facial recognition applications.
By gathering data on millions (or billions) of infants—extracted through ubiquitous sensors, cameras, and microphones—these artificial brain models could become exquisitely detailed. They may even learn to think for themselves.
STEP 4: Use these artificial models as a benchmark for an infant’s neurological development, guiding the infant’s cognition toward superior executive function. Theoretically, this computerized methodology will create cognitively enhanced super-babies.
In an automated world in which human beings find themselves racing to keep up with algorithms, the entire process is eerily appropriate.
How many babies are we talking about here?
According to Wellcome Leap’s documents, their goal is to apply their method on 80% of all children:
“[I]f we could accurately predict and improve EF [executive function] outcomes by 20% in 80% of children before age 3, we could reduce the risk of childhood obesity by nearly 20%, reduce the risk of accelerated ageing by about 12% and potentially reduce the risk of encounters of crime by over 20%.”
Sounds like a perfect world. But will these health experts simply take a random sample, then apply the findings to any baby within reach? Or will every infant on Earth be subjected to their own personal surveillance state? Those details are unclear, but the program’s global scope is explicit.
From Super-Babies to Super-Citizens
In the case of “The First 1000 Days” program, we’ve answered two important questions. Who is doing the research (i.e., surveillance)? Well-funded, DARPA-connected, WEF-sanctioned, Silicon Valley-empowered global health experts.
On whom? Perhaps as many babies as they can slip a smart jumpsuit onto.
To what end?
On its face, Wellcome Leap’s purpose appears to be to improve life outcomes for at-risk children who may otherwise lack self-control. Only a regressive monster would want to resist that. After all, kids need to be prepared for a complex world.
To put this in context, take two prime examples of what this technocratic process looks like on a large scale: online education and the Amazon Fulfillment Center—where your fulfillment is maximized by algorithms.
In the wake of COVID-19, schoolchildren were handed fresh laptops, told to watch instructional videos, forced to interact via monitored apps, and given digital standardized tests to track their progress. For years, software developers and penny-pinching school administrators had pushed for these cheap, efficient e-learning models. Now, even as pandemic fears subside, many schools are ramping up their online offerings.
Are laptops the best vehicle for a well-rounded education?
You’re missing the bigger picture: Are computers more compliant than teachers or not? And more importantly, are they more profitable? If nothing else, online education is preparing young people for life in the Amazon Fulfillment Center.
Jeff Bezos is famous for many things: building swole biceps, crushing local businesses across the world, slipping Alexa eavesdropping software into 100 million devices, and emerging from the Covid lockdowns as history’s richest man.
His most enduring mark may be creating a job environment where every worker’s actions are constantly surveilled from multiple angles. The Amazon Fulfillment Center is basically a “smart jumpsuit” writ large. Amazon’s overall social organization is dictated by AI algorithms, from the hiring process to warehouse management to the “deactivation” of inefficient workers.
Sounds great on paper—at least if you read in 1’s and 0’s. But as one flesh-and-blood former employee, who got canned by a chatbot, told Bloomberg, “Whenever there’s an issue, there’s no support. It’s just you against the machine, so you don’t even try.”
If the up-and-coming generation is gonna be future-proof, they’ve gotta be ready to keep pace in a hi-tech environment. Luddite losers will get left behind.
Now, here’s your baby’s smart jumpsuit. It should fit snugly, but comfortably—sort of like an N95 mask. Be sure the cameras in your home aren’t obstructed. Your childcare officer will be coming around shortly to make sure The Neuro-Process is unfolding properly.
Listen, this is in everyone’s best interests. If you want to find true fulfillment, you have to trust the process.Joe Allen
writes about ethnic identity, transhuman hubris, and the eternal spiritual quest. His work has appeared in The Federalist, ColdType, The American Thinker, The National Pulse, This View of Life, The American Spectator, IBCSR: Science on Religion, Disinformation, and elsewhere. Follow him @JOEBOTxyz and www.joebot.xyz.• Get SALVO blog posts in your inbox! Copyright © 2023 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/post/cultivated-for-technocratic-control