martes, 17 de julio de 2018

Our responsibility on the digital revolution

I am currently reading "The Folly of Technological Solutionism" by Evgeny Morozov. The book is a must read essay on the many dangers to a democratic society that Internet and technoloy are seeding. One of them is the destruction of any possibility of dissent. In Mozorov´s words, we are close "to build a technological environment where lawbreaking is impossible" and, therefore,  the outcome will be " to close the important social valves through which social change happens."

We are witnessing the dawn of a "Black Mirror" alike society. The TV distopia looks as closer to be real each day. At least it´s what it is pointing byt the pieces of news of a system for rating people in China to detect dissidents, the ever expanding usage of algorithms for detecting situations  and areas where crimes could arise or the build of robots for policing missions. Soon, lawbreaking will be impossible and therefore any form of social dissent would be in danger.

Few times we reflect about the origins of the inventions described above. We see those digital applications as coming from thin air, the press usually described them as an outcome from the evolution with few human intervention. But the reality is that companies and persons has produced them. A couple of months ago an article in The Guardian recalled this and the benefits that companies obtain from this activity. The same article started with a remembrance on how IBM´s puching-machines paves the way to the Holocaust.

Perhaps it is the right time to open the debate of the ethical limits of the technology workers activity. Furthermre, also our responsibility as consumers of digital products and services who are fueling the perfectioning of them for its usage in different spheres. Digitalisation is not happening in the vacuum, all of us have some responsibility on it.

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