News Response #11

This article published on April 16th in The Economist is called “Technology and Its Discontents.” It discusses some of the ways that humans are currently pushing back against some of the potential dangers of emerging technologies. This ‘techlash’ comes in several forms, but this article primarily addresses the belief that tech titans like Facebook, Amazon, and Google have become too powerful and the notion that artificial intelligence and algorithms may advance beyond human ethics and control. It notes how for most of humanity, advances in technology have been overwhelmingly welcomed as positive advancements because more people could live longer with a better quality of life; however, current growth has brought fear and mistrust of technology. Individuals are becoming wary of the immense amount of data that companies like Facebook hoard and sell without a second thought. Likewise, AI, algorithms, and robotics bring nervousness about the way that machines might operate with sophistication beyond human regulation and oversight. With technology advancing at unprecedented rates, humans will need to be incredibly cautious moving forward. It is critical that individuals developing these technologies have a strong moral compass so that the technologies can spring from an ethical foundation; unfortunately, it is not easy to educate all people to act morally, as ethics are incredibly subjective. Regardless, if society places the health and happiness of all beings as the number one priority, more technological developers will have the inclination to create from a place of compassion and positivity.