Yesterday Sen. Chris Murphy1 highlighted the disconnect between how Silicon Valley and America see technology. Murphy points out that constituents distrust technology. It overwhelms and vexes, with a feeling that we work for the technology instead of the technology working for us. This is a far cry from the bicycle for the mind that Steve Jobs envisioned. This thread foreshadows potential regulation, but before we regulate we should ask ourselves, why is technology perceived this way?
Many companies employ software in a detrimental or even hostile manner. Organizations are making students and workers install surveillance tools that watch them. Governments are buying AI software that does not work properly. Companies are replacing customer service people who help us with robots that frustrate us. While the technologies might improve a metric for the organization they often inflict pain or even harm on the people that are forced to use them.
We can do better, and I believe there should be more regulation around the uses I describe above. However there are more reasons to be wary of technology and innovation to cover. Tomorrow, I will explore why software seems to fail us so frequently.
Disclaimer: I have worked for Sen. Murphy both on his campaign and in his DC Office as an intern. ↩