In the next ten years we will see data-driven technologies reconfigure systems in many different sectors, from autonomous vehicles to personalized learning, predictive policing, to precision medicine. While the advances that we will see will create phenomenal new opportunities, they will also create new challenges—and new worries—and it behooves us to start grappling with these issues now so that we can build healthy sociotechnical systems.
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Experimentation is so commonplace on the Internet now that if you use a platform like Facebook you’re probably part of many experiments all the time.
All they have to do is write to journalists and ask questions. And what they do is they ask a journalist a question and be like, “What’s going on with this thing?” And journalists, under pressure to find stories to report, go looking around. They immediately search something in Google. And that becomes the tool of exploitation.
When I think about disposability, I think about namelessness. I think about whose pictures are taken in refugee camps. Or whose stones without names you look at at a mass grave, or just a ditch for that matter. To be disposable is to be nameless in somebody’s eyes.
Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the people have gone from not having it around to having it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a little younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t really need to be explained. It does however need to be contextualized.
This is a moment to ask as we make the planet digital, as we totally envelop ourselves in the computing environment that we’ve been building for the last hundred years, what kind of digital planet do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turning back, and getting to ethical decisions, values decisions, decisions about democracy, is not something we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.
In a world of conflicting values, it’s going to be difficult to develop values for AI that are not the lowest common denominator.