Technology has become such an inextricable element of modern life that it may often feel like a natural force, a huge tidal wave that users and customers can ride but have little control over. It does not have to be this this.
Technological advancement is not an unstoppable force that exerts control over us. Instead, they aim to empower all of us to build a technological future that promotes human happiness and democratic principles in a new book.
Rather than accepting the notion that technology's impacts are beyond our control, we must realise the significant role it plays in our daily lives and decide what we want to do about it.
What role does technology play in amplifying values?
Without a question, having technology in our lives has many benefits. Rather than simply cheering or criticising it, the researchers advocate for a discussion on the unforeseen consequences and negative consequences that these powerful new tools and platforms may have.
Examining how values become incorporated in our technologies is one method to investigate technology's effects. Every day, engineers and the tech businesses for which they work make judgments regarding the products they build, frequently motivated by a desire for optimization and efficiency. Their choices frequently include trade-offs — favouring one goal at the expense of another – that may or may not reflect other concerns.
Users, for example, are sometimes driven to spectacular headlines, even if the material, dubbed "clickbait," isn't valuable or even true. Click-through rates have been utilised by several platforms to prioritise which material their viewers see. However, they are making a trade-off by prioritising the click over the content of the click. As a result, society may become less informed.
When data is collected in enormous quantities, the risk of privacy being violated is greatly increased; it is no longer just an individual concern, but but a bigger, social one.
Others may prefer to communicate via more private and secure ways, such as encrypted messaging systems like WhatsApp or Signal. Only the sender and receiver may see what they share on these channels, but problems might arise here as well.
By ensuring full secrecy, persons working in intelligence are unable to review those texts for planned terrorist attacks, child sex trafficking, or other forms of encouragement to violence. Engineers are choosing individual privacy over personal safety and national security in this scenario, according to Reich, because encryption can not only ensure private communication but also allow for unnoticed communication.
Others may elect to exert greater control over their privacy by refusing to use certain digital sites. For example, tech critics are increasingly calling for users to "delete Facebook." However, in today's society, where technology is so pervasive, avoiding social media applications and other digital platforms is not a viable option. It would be equivalent to addressing the dangers of automobile safety by simply urging people to quit driving.