One Change to Fix Tech: Put a Friendly Bot Between You and the Evil Bots

What if we can sidestep the problems with today’s tech environment, using a strategy that has already been successful in the banking sector (fintech unicorn Plaid)? It’s really simple. Put a friendly bot in between you and the evil bots. Here’s my discussion:

Hi @JHercules, your idea is tempting, but it eventually ends up by adding yet another layer of technology between us and our true goals. The words ‘friendly’ and ‘evil’ can’t be applied to bots, they are just programs developed by someone in order to perform some task. The real evil actor is the actual economic surveillance capitalistic system, that pushes companies toward the exploitation of users attention in order to influence and predict their behaviour. If your friendly bots will ever become reality, they will simply be another tool - even more powerful because centralized and blindly trusted by the user - available for companies thriving in the actual system. Who will be the producer of this friendly bot? Another company, national / international organizations, …? No one would know whether it will do users’ interests, the producer’s interests, the producers’ partners’ interests and so on, because it will still live in the same wild deregulated surveillance capitalistic world we live today.

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Michele - thanks for the comments! I really do think end-users can influence companies to product a better product when end-users are the paying customer. You are more pessimistic, but that’s OK. The results will be available for everyone to see when the first crop of assistants are built. Some will be evil-in-disguise and rightly criticized. But I think some will be excellent and give us new and better choices.