Where is the humane tech scene? Who is teaching and fostering ethics and humane tech frameworks? Who is stimulating the creation and use of humane core tech services which can uplift society, to displace the harms and security threats posed by big bad tech?
The need for humane tech is not well know, but it is certain. Tech left to for-profit has been a disaster, with unethical behaviour exponentially accelerated by technology. People worldwide are being surveilled, billions of hours of people’s attention are being manipulated, people’s choices are being redirected, their agency hijacked and seemingly technology has even perverted the meaning of life itself.
But there is another way, because when people are given a real choice in what technology services they would use, they would choose humane tech because it is safer, more secure and most importantly it works for us instead of against us. Humane tech services, if they were to actually exist and provide the main functions of technology, have the power to readily disrupt many of the the major for-profit core services of technology that are currently provided by big bad tech.
Why haven’t governments and educational institutions been investing here? Certainly we can offer a greater return in the form of humanity than the startup scene. Although in humane tech potential profits are much smaller the overall return to society is much higher than that of for-profit tech, where the overall return to society through harms is very often negative.
The for-profit tech startup “scene” has been extremely visible and active, worldwide, for a long time now. Everyone from profiteers to investors to governments to educational institutions to millions of people looking for salvation in the wrong place have given something to this startup scene. And it’s an ugly scene, focussed on profit and blind to the world in so many ways. I suppose everyone has been following the money, governments looking for huge profits to tax, schools looking for tuition and grants, and people are following ludicrously massive tech salaries (in USA) and big salaries everywhere else.
What can we do to accelerate the creation of the humane tech scene?