Then we’ll begin! What do Brave New World, Blade Runner and Black Mirror (above, © Netflix) have in common? Hint: it’s not “B”. They all predict worlds where technology has lost control. Where the ideas of a few, claiming to be set on “making the world a better place” (© Silicon Valley), have managed to impose themselves on the many, and become the new world order before most of us even noticed.
The problem is that today, reality has surpassed fiction. As Black Mirror’s Twitter account had to admit the day Trump was elected:
This isn’t an episode. This isn’t marketing. This is reality.
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) 9 novembre 2016
Since then, Facebook alone has been accused of letting Russian accounts pay for ads to help get Trump elected; of paying a PR company to run an anti-semitic campaign to denigrate Facebook’s competitors to the press; and of turning a blind eye on Cambridge Analytica‘s also helping Trump get elected, by accessing the data of 87 million users. Data which all of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users gave to platform for free…
That’s not to mention Google buying hordes of transactional data from MasterCard; Amazon recording everything millions of us say to Alexa; ‘deepfake‘ technology now being able to embed your face in any video; or the fact every month for the past two years, a new report confirms the link between screen addiction and depression (here’s just one)… you name it, there’s something to worry about.
But as this blog will aim to explain, it’s not all doom and gloom. For one, technology is also doing a lot of good today. We’ll talk about that. And when it gets caught doing bad things, big tech suddenly jumps on the responsibility bandwagon. Or when it keeps being “evil”, we’ll give you tips. Let you know what you can do about it. Use a screentime-monitoring app. Delete your Facebook account. Get some really strong passwords. Use a home assistant that doesn’t record your every word.
And those are just for starters. My point is, we’re here to help. So feel free to ask. Right here in comments, or over here on Twitter. And together, we can… well, you know: