Little Brother, Big Brother, and our Mirrored Future (or Lessons Learned from Kristen Stewart)

From Forbes – in the future our concern isn’t Big Brother, but rather Little Brother enabled by powerful always connected computers in our hands:

As we enter an age in which facial recognition technology is improving, interest in hyperlocal/micro-celebrity news is exploding, and everyone is a celebrity thanks to their online personas and broadcasting platforms, is it possible that one day a cheater won’t have to be an international star to be publicly (or privately) outed by a complete stranger?

Indulge me. Look at these trends:

  • Facial recognition is improving. There could be a day when we have an app on our phones that can immediately ID a stranger by face. Most of us already have tons of photos of ourselves online which facilitates the development of such an app.
  • There are already numerous sites online, such as Cheaterville, for reporting cheaters. And there have been numerous instances of strangers giving detailed reports of couple’s indiscreet public fights (on a train, at a Burger King), as well as attempted cheating (on an airplane). There is a demonstrated interest in telling the tales of strangers’ love gone sour.
  • There are devices making it easier to take photos of people without them knowing about it, from Google Glasses toiPhone apps that hide any indication on your phone that it’s taking a photo.

It’ll be interesting to see how this affects society – Will people be better?  Or will society simply be more transparent?

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I work for True Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund with offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto. We partner with promising entrepreneurs at the earliest stages in the technology market providing hands-on management support to guide our portfolio companies through the challenges of early growth.