There is no denying technology’s reach. We sleep with our phones, on our wrists for REM recording. There are screens on highways and in our cars. We book trips, buy houses, receive diagnosis, with the help of technology. It can map the human brain, the genome, and even the world. Children are exposed to technology as young as 24 months, when developmental skills of mimicking and motor control begin to emerge. It has changed the scope of communication, linking locations and people together that would have never interacted before. In decades past, it was a race for the newest, fastest, and most cutting-edge technology to emerge in a growing market. Now, in the twilight of the decade, we are exploring responsible tech. No longer do we clammer for whatever the industry gives us, but we now ask, “Should we?”

Third Party Tracking

Australia pushes to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to decide if users are the correct age to view porn. Pornography has, unsurprisingly, been around for as long as humans have. Dating back to 7200 BCE with cave drawings, surviving the Dark Ages, flourishing in photography and video as well as the sexual liberation of the 70’s. Internet pornography is a new frontier on an old profession. This new take on a classic has parents and officials worried for the chastity of children’s eyes. How do we stop this influx of graphic content? Australia, as well as parts of the United Kingdom, has proposed facial recognition, by way of a third-party verification (TPV) company. Now the question remains, does privacy come before perceived public safety?

AI Advertising

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not the robot maid in The Jetson’s anymore. Beyond a physical recreation of human form, AI ad companies have begun to read your mind. First created for non-verbal patients, this tech can decode brain waves as well as the impulses that may follow. AI advertisers have relied on the tracking and analyzing consumer data to give them insight for companies. This new wave could potentially turn your brain neurons into sentences that tell advertisers what you actually want. Have you ever looked at an ad and thought “Well that worked” or vice versa? This may no longer be private knowledge, and will help companies advertise on a deeply personal level. Will we be able to resist an ad that speaks to our intimate desires?

Woke Workplaces

We have reached a “woke” state of work. Hate speech, fake news, and military contracts have pushed employees to fight back against their own company. Mega giants in the world of online social sites have survived for years by playing the 1st amendment card as often as possible. With user driven content, no one was forced to take ownership to controversial topics reaching the trending status. This, of course, was an unstable model. The United Nations openly chastised Facebook for their total lack of involvement in the violence against Rohingya, a minority in Myanmar. Amazon employees planned a walkout to initiate a corporate climate change. Google cut a lucrative government contract at behest of employee’s disdain for partaking in “the business of war”. As these mega-giants grow, is the only way to regulate, from within?

 

Advancements in technology have answered many questions throughout the course of time but we have reached a unique precipice of time when technology is creating questions as it progresses. Are all advancements worthy? Should all these advancements also turn a profit? Without easy answers or proper legal regulation, the future is murky with unpredictability.