“We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about”
That was nearly 9 years ago.
Amazon doesn’t feel it has a responsibility to make sure its groundbreaking technology is always used ethically.
“Civil rights groups have called it “perhaps the most dangerous surveillance technology ever developed”, and called for Amazon to stop selling it to government agencies, particularly police forces.”
“Mr Vogels doesn’t feel it’s Amazon’s responsibility to make sure Rekognition is used accurately or ethically.
“That’s not my decision to make,” he tells me.”
Murky AF. I guess this kind of moral self-absolution is a necessity if you’re in charge of Amazon.
“He likens ML and AI to steel mills. Sometimes steel is used to make incubators for babies, he says, but sometimes steel is used to make guns.”
Amazon’s ML/AI is not a raw material. It’s shaped (and sold) by a cadre of people at Amazon.
Do they build in any accountability mechanisms to their algorithms?
They’re making a loaded technology. They’re making the guns, and he’s saying “hey – it’s not our responsibility to add safety catches.”
The project has as its working title We Have Never Been Social: Rethinking the Internet. It revisits the history of the Internet’s development and, in particular, the rise of the social media structures that have come to dominate so much of our experience of networked communication, arguing that a significant part of what has led us to the mess we find ourselves in today is a desperately flawed model of sociality, one that is in fact not just un-social but anti-social.
That is to say: if the problem has not been the centralized, corporatized control of the individual voice, the individual’s data, but rather a deeper failure of sociality that precedes that control, then merely reclaiming ownership of our voices and our data isn’t enough. If the goal is creating more authentic, more productive forms of online sociality, we need to rethink our platforms, the ways they function, and our relationships to them from the ground up. It’s not just a matter of functionality, or privacy controls, or even of business models. It’s a matter of governance.
Despite the liberatory potential of technology, of which I see free software playing a big role, there’s a very real concern of ending up with a kind of technocratic ‘vanguard party’.
You can debate the merits of vanguardism in general, but couple it with the current disproportionate skew of tech roles to white and male – which is even more pronounced in free software at present – and throw in the ‘scratch your own itch’ trope.
That’s a huge systemic problem as vanguard becomes regime.
Some things I am learning: if you’re white and male and into free software (I am), recognise that you have a very blinkered and narrow view of the world.
* Spend half the time you use learning Yet Another Technology to educate yourself about race, gender and class struggles (historical and present).
* Pipe down and listen to others when it comes to discussions about what is needed in software.
* Don’t ‘scratch your own itch’ – serve a community. If you’re white, male and technically proficient you’ve got enough privilege in the bank to pay it back building for others rather than yourself.
Why better maintenance is one of the most urgent and creative challenges we face.
(Not saying it wasn’t already a social network for other people – this is just my own experience. If I’d been blogging to my own site for 20 years, or joined micro.blog, I’m sure I’d be there already!)
Most economists suffer from misplaced optimism about the oncoming Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some reskilling here and there would suffice to spread its benefits to all workers. They ignore how capitalism invents and employs technology for profits, not people.
Unsurprisingly though, there’s a very capitalist potential outcome of 3IR and 4IR too.
Like the previous revolutions, it *could* be liberatory, or it *could* as easily reinforce existing inequalities. The historical record isn’t too great in terms of global equality and liberation.
This article makes the argument for ensuring these revolutions are for liberatory ends.
“how technology is put to use fundamentally remains a social choice and a “global network of resistance” to the way the emerging technologies are utilised “is both necessary and feasible.”
To me that’s a given really – shame the article doesn’t go into much detail on actual strategy. (Which Cooperation Jackson do in great detail.)
There’s much more to 3/4IR, but selectively quoting from the connectivity and communication parts, as they piqued my IndieWeb interest:
“While social networking provides relatively open spaces for public expression, the immense wealth that is generated by the techno-capitalists shows us that even public spaces can become a profitable business model.”
“necessitates the need for resistance against the tendencies of capitalism in general that has historically encroached upon public spaces for profit.”
Here’s to being part of a global network of resistance.
The topics of the exhibit were personal data, personal data security, and privacy. It’s purpose was to get us thinking about the kind of information that is stored about us online, who owns that data, and what they are doing with it.
We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.
— Eric Schmidt, when he was CEO of Google