29th April

The Intuceptor System

‘I must confess,’ said the Minister for Wellbeing and Security, ‘to having some doubts as to whether the technology really can deliver everything you say it can. Leaving aside the civil liberties issue, about which we can expect the usual fuss in the usual quarters, how can you be so confident that simply donning a pair of these glasses will enable the wearer to identify potential terrorists with – what is it you say? – ninety-five per cent accuracy?’

‘The truly revolutionary aspect of the Intuceptor system, Minister, is that the technology doesn’t override the wearer’s instincts, it enhances them. The human brain has an astonishing capacity for making balanced, coherent assessments and following them up with quick and effective decisions. What Intuceptor does is filter, focus and declutter that process, far more rapidly than the brain possibly can. So: an armed-response police officer is trained to be aware of the many forms in which terrorist activity can manifest, but in a crisis situation he doesn’t have time to think through the pros and cons of this or that response, he has to take immediate action, with possibly lethal results. The Intuceptor viewfinders take him straight to the right response. It’s still his response, but facilitated by sophisticated digital analysis that can itself be analysed retrospectively, and scientifically proven to have been correct.’

‘You mean, in a court of law?’

‘Absolutely. Potentially this means our security services will never again find themselves in a situation where they are adjudged to have eliminated a suspect who turned out not to be a terrorist, because the Intuceptor recordings will show precisely why the suspect was deemed to be dangerous and therefore had to be.’

‘Had to be dangerous, you mean?’

‘Yes, and eliminated.’

‘But won’t the civil liberties people claim this is a charter for a policy of
“shoot first and ask questions later”?’

‘They will, and rightly so, because that’s precisely what it is. The difference is, when the questions are asked later, we’ll have all the right answers.’

‘I see,’ the Minister said. ‘Justice seen to be done, eh?’

‘Justice shown to be done, Minister. Which, as we know, is just as important in a healthy democracy.’

Reader: Charlie West
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Harp: Esther Swift
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