Tech in 2017: Loopy, troubled and uncontrolled?
There’s little question about it, it’s been a troublesome 12 months for the expertise trade.
It’s additionally been a loopy 12 months for tech, with cryptocurrencies surging and rollercoastering in worth — presumably minting just a few millionaires alongside the best way, assuming they really cashed their coin out.
But even these unusual crypto-highs have include some equal and reverse lows: Scams, hacks, pointlessly wasteful vitality consumption, and — zooming out — the baffled confusion of anybody exterior the crypto-boom making an attempt to grasp what logic (if any) it runs on.
In the meantime AI’s touted effectivity beneficial properties have additionally been weighed down by counternarratives this 12 months — the tales the place AI is proven preferring to advertise clickbait. Or to be biased. Or worse.
AI blowing “bubbles of hate” as one YouTube coverage staffer memorably put it throughout a political grilling. Although he merely advocated using but extra AI to repair the issue.
The naivety and irresponsibility of tech giants whose platforms have scaled so huge and acquired so highly effective left the strongest impression in 2017, as advertising claims about fostering ‘openness and connection’ unravelled within the face of the literal reverse: Rising division and social strife.
If solely Twitter had listened to all of the customers telling it to repair its troll drawback for years. Ditto YouTube and its below-the-fold remark hellscape. And Fb and pretend information.
Worse was on present too: Uber’s fame lies in tatters for a motive. And large knowledge breaches got here to look like an virtually routine prevalence in 2017.
Sexism and sexual harassment had been additionally proven to be an unsightly and embedded drawback throughout the trade.
Going into 2018, tech actually has a whole lot of cleansing home to do.
Wanting forward, corporations of all sizes needs to be making an attempt to see exterior their very own filter bubbles and Kool-Help-stocked canteens — and asking themselves genuinely robust questions on who and what will probably be impacted by their expertise.
The unpopularity being sharply directed without delay shiny tech manufacturers needs to be a paradigm shifting get up name.
Questions are being requested about platform energy. Regulatory guidelines and knives are being sharpened. Politicians are desirous to level the finger of blame. And with a lot tech-fueled ammunition, who can blame them?
After the surge, the crash.
Faucet the arrows to take an A to Z tour via the tech that troubled the information this 12 months.
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