Christopher Steiner of the Guardian, writing about tech and surveillance, talks about a rather chilling thought in a brilliant article titled Edward Snowden may be the last of the human spies... something that will happen, whether we like it or not.
Human nature makes it predictable that organisations such as the NSA would be cataloguing phone calls and other electronic interactions between humans. But Edward Snowden's revelations also tell us how far electronic snooping has yet to go. While the din of outrage still resonates, we should be thankful that Snowden – a human being – actually exists. In the future, the world may never be alerted to such breaches of privacy because there will be no humans involved in spying at all. Just as algorithms have conquered our stock markets and our musical tastes, so too will they conquer surveillance. Even the most human of tasks, snooping, will become the province of the bots.
BRT touches upon this in Big Data - With a Twist with mention of Minority Report and the human frailties of Agatha, the most prescient of the Pre Cogs used by Pre Crime, a special police squad dedicated to solving crimes before they happen, a notion the NSA might actually be trying to do using predictive analytics combined with big data in order to "protect us" from the vagaries of reality whether we like it or not.