Posted & filed under Aside.

A strongly opinionated piece on technology and culture . . .

The correct way to play Pac Man, of course, is to consume as much as possible while running from the ghosts that relentlessly pursue you. This was a valuable early lesson in what it means to be an American.It also taught me that technology and ethics aren’t so easy to separate, and that if you want to know how a system works, it helps to follow the money.Today the technology that ran that arcade game permeates every aspect of our lives. We’re here at an emerging technology conference to celebrate it, and find out what exciting things will come next. But like the tail follows the dog, ethical concerns about how technology affects who we are as human beings, and how we live together in society, follow us into this golden future. No matter how fast we run, we can’t shake them.This year especially there’s an uncomfortable feeling in the tech industry that we did something wrong, that in following our credo of “move fast and break things”, some of what we knocked down were the load-bearing walls of our democracy.

Source: Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance

3 Responses to “Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance”

  1. cathedralplace

    “The economic basis of the Internet is surveillance.” Useful observations, but his solutions – banning advertising, breaking up Facebook – are a noble pipe dream.

  2. blamb482

    This article makes me want to throw away every connected electronic device in my possession. I probably won’t.

    Two Excerpts:

    “…[A]dmitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face.”

    “Orwell imagined a world in which the state could shamelessly rewrite the past. The Internet has taught us that people are happy to do this work themselves, provided they have their peer group with them, and a common enemy to unite against. They will happily construct alternative realities for themselves, and adjust them as necessary to fit the changing facts.”


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