I slipped into the aesthetic poverty of Latest Offer For Meta Horizon Worlds VR, which shows the cartoon avatar of a dead Mark Zuckerberg in front of a visual backdrop that one Twitter benevolently shakes against the “painted walls of an abandoned daycare center.” I had left a quiet sigh in News The seal of the nation, an Amazon-produced TV show featuring “popular, viral content” captured from the Ring’s surveillance empire. I had my jaw clenched in screenshot subordinate Stable text-to-image diffusion Presenting AI artwork in the styles of dozens of unpaid human artists, whose collective work was injected into the model’s training data, then popped up, and then back out.
I recognized the feeling and knew its name. It was quitting – that feeling of being stuck somewhere you don’t want to but can’t leave. The irony struck me that I had studied technology my whole life in order to avoid this kind of feeling. Technology used to be my happy place.
Naturally, I poured my feelings into a storm of tweets:
I had a nerve. As my notifications started blasting and thousands of replies and tweets began pouring in, the initial dopamine reward of the spurt gave way to a deeper sadness. a Many of people were sitting with the same heavy feeling in their stomachs.
However, there was such vent in reading that so many others gave it a go.
Something missing from our lives and from our technology. Its absence fuels the growing concern expressed by many who work in or study technology. It’s what drives the new generation of PhD and post-doctoral researchers I work with at the University of Edinburgh, who bring together knowledge from all the technical arts, sciences and humanities to try to figure out what has happened with our technology ecosystem and how to fix it. To do this, we have to understand how and why the priorities in this ecosystem have changed.
The goal of developing consumer technology was very simple: design and build something of value to people, and give them a reason to buy it. The new fridge is shiny, reduces energy bills, and makes cool looking ice cubes. So I buy it. he did. The Roomba promises to vacuum up cat hair from under the sofa while I nap. Sold! But this vision of the technology is increasingly outdated. It is not enough for the refrigerator to keep food cold; Presenting today’s edition Cameras and sensors It can monitor how and what I eat, while Roomba can soon be able to send a map of my home to Amazon.
The problem here goes beyond the obvious privacy risks. It is a fundamental change in the entire innovation paradigm and the incentives that drive it. Why settle for a single profit-making deal for the company when you could instead design a product that extracts a monetizable data stream from every buyer, and returns revenue to the company for years? Once you capture that data stream, you will protect it, even at your customer’s expense. After all, if you buy enough from the market, you can stand the wrath and frustration of your customers. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.
It wasn’t just social media platforms and consumer technology that brought about this shift. For example, the large agricultural technology brand John Deere, once loved by its customers, has been fighting The Right to Reform movement Driven by farmers angry at being prevented from fixing their own machines, lest they corrupt proprietary programs that send high-value data on farmers’ lands and crops to the manufacturer. As noted by more than one commenter on my Twitter thread, Today in Tech we It is the producer and not the main beneficiary. Mechanical devices that used to be a product are increasingly becoming mere middlemen.
There is also a shift in who the tech innovations are today. Several respondents objected to my thread by drawing attention to today’s vibrant market in new technology for “nerds” and “nerds” – Raspberry Pis, open source software tools, programmable bots. Although many of these tools are intended for those who have the time, skills, and interest to use them, they are tools designed for a narrow audience. And the suspense of seeing a real innovation in biomedical technology, such as mRNA vaccines, also diminishes when we see the benefits concentrated in the richest countries – those that actually provide the best technical services.
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