The new Worldcoin, which was launched on July 24, requires users to verify their identities through the "chrome orb." Worldcoin is another endeavor by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, following the success of his initial ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) platform.
Acccording to Worldcoin's developer Tools for Humanity, the optical verification technology is an essential measure in an era dominated by AI chatbots. It seeks to differentiate human users from AI-powered bots while establishing a global currency accessible to everyone. (Related: OpenAI CEO launches iris-scanning crypto plan to "verify" every human being: "IT’S TIME.")
Altman and co-founder Alex Blania envision the Worldcoin and the World ID system with a crypto-based universal basic income (UBI) program – through the WLD token. Eligible members in certain countries will gain immediate access to the latter upon successful registration and verification.
Worldcoin's official website states its vision to allocate shares fairly to as many people as possible. Thus, the WLD token is distributed to people based on their "uniqueness" as human beings, even without any financial investment. This lines up with Worldcoin's goal to ensure global access to the currency, regardless of a person's economic status.
Not everyone shares Altman's excitement about the new technology, however.
Investor and real estate guru George Gammon took to Twitter to express his condemnation. He described Worldcoin in a tweet: "Looks like it's a combination of a global digital ID, cryptocurrency, AI and UBI? It's literally not possible to create something that sounds worse."
Whistleblower Edward Snowden warned against the use of optical biometrics back in 2021. He tweeted: "Don't catalog eyeballs. Don't use biometrics for anti-fraud. In fact, don’t use biometrics for anything. The human body is not a ticket-punch."
The MIT Technology Review joined the fray through an investigation scrutinizing the claims of Worldcoin anonymizing and destroying users' biometric data for privacy. It found, however, that the data destruction never occurred and that biometric information remained in Worldcoin's systems. (Related: Worldcoin accused of unethical practices shortly after its official launch.)
Furthermore, the Technology Review also looked at how the company collected biometric data in developing countries such as Indonesia, Kenya and Colombia. While researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed the use of the "chrome orb" in these countries, they added that local residents were enticed to participate with promises of future wealth, free cash and other incentives.
This lack of transparency about data handling and deletion further fueled the controversy involving Worldcoin. According to the Daily Expose, this absence of clear information from Worldcoin leaves users' data vulnerable to falling into the wrong hands.
Israeli intellectual Yuval Noah Harari warned back in 2018 that technological advancements in AI and machine learning could lead to machines having total control over humans. The advisor to the globalist World Economic Forum stressed the potential dangers of data collection and its implications for personal freedoms and human rights. According to Harari, the risk of personal data being exploited to gain control over individuals and societies is becoming increasingly evident.
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