#13 Musing

I heard a term today that I hadn't come across before or at the very least I don't conciously remember doing so.

Techno-Optomism.

I heard it on the excellent podcast from the MIT Technology Review called In Machines we Trust.

I consider myself a social-technologist and genuinely believe that technology can solve many of the issues facing humanity today and into the future. Now, I have always struggled with the fact that technology can cause so many varied issues. That tension between my general optimism on the power of technology and the dangers of its implementation and execution causes a bit of dissonance.

The techno-optomist believes that in a nutshell more tech is always better, tech causes problems but will always eventually solve them. I want to believe that but I am just not sure that an unregulated wild west in tech innovation is a good thing. Especially in areas like machine learning, AI and surveillance.

Deliberate, planned and regulated introduction of technology is, I believe, a happy medium between wanton innovation and stagnation. In the case of facial recognition and surveillance it is imperative that these technolgoies are open, transparent and accurate. The problem with a lot of the algorithms powering these face id systems, is that they are filled with the same human bigotries and biases. They will and do accentuate and excerbate the inherent flaws within our judicial and front-line policing systems.

Definitely needs more discussion but I hope I have given a bit of insight into my headspace around this.

B


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