downgrading humans

downgrading humansThis Wired article is worth a read. Tech is Downgrading Humans. It’s time to fight back describes ex-Googler Tristan Harris’ efforts to start a conversation about the dark side of our technology. He’s an important (and evolving) voice.

Digging into the Twitter commentary there’s some scathing criticism of Harris’ thinking. Characterized by one as an ‘old man shouting at the clouds’ there is no shortage of disparaging dialog shooting down his mission and touting humanity’s inevitable submission to platform and machine. Predictably, any concern over how Silicon Valley is downgrading humans is framed as luddite lunacy.

Our view of technology is binary: We’re a world of luddites and technoutopians with few in between. Each points the finger at the other. It’s the humanities on the singularity. The battle of meat and machine is just warming up.

Technology will continue its march. But the inconvenient truth for the utopians is that technology is built only to serve the dangerously imperfect humans who created it.