Why Veillance

Q. Why is there so much emphasis on veillance in the Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation? A. Let's explain veillance in the context of HI (Humanistic Intelligence) with reference to the following diagram:

When humans interact with machines, computers, software, or the like, the machines sense us, while giving us information (feedback), as shown in the HI (Humanistic Intelligence) diagram. When machines sense us, we call that "surveillance". This sensing is not a bad thing as long as the machines reveal their state back to us ("sousveillance"). But when machines sense us without immediately revealing themselves, we have a one-sided veillance (sensing) that is out-of-balance and destructive.

Too often, modern machines know everything about us, yet reveal nothing about themselves. Sluggish delayed feedback disrupts HI, resulting in frustrating user-interfaces that cause people to repeat the same actions over and over angrily. When people click on something and nothing happens, they instinctively double-click and triple and quadruple and quintuple-click, repeating the same thing over-and-over expecting a different (i.e. successful) result.

The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" (often attributed to Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Narcotics Anonymous 1981).

We live in a world that's increasingly difficult to understand, due to the increasingly erratic and unresponsive (delayed feedback) nature of computing, including things like VR sickness and brain damage from delayed feedback.

This is creating a world that causes (or requires) insanity.

Optimum Insanity: There is a certain optimum amount of insanity required to use software, etc., and this might be quantified as the optumum number of times we should retry the same thing (input).

Amid this world, we see a quest for authenticity, consistency, reliability, transparency, and comprehensibility.

This quest has manifested itself as a surge in the old DIY (Do It Yourself) and "Maker" cultures, along with a rebirth of old technologies like record players (turntables), large control knobs, and the like.

The answer to these problems is a Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation that requires immediate feedback, among other things, related to how we're sensed and how we know when and how we're being sensed.

See Figures 4, 5, and 6, on the third page of the Kineveillance paper (link):