Technology is designed to make its users to believe in human obsolescence

By | October 30, 2021

Jaron Lanier writes:

[W]hat we need to talk about is the dominant business model. This model spews out horrible incentives to make people meaner and crazier. Incentives run the world more than laws, regulations, critiques or the ideas of researchers.

The current incentives are to “engage” people as much as possible, which means triggering the “lizard brain” and fight-or-flight responses. People have always been a little paranoid, xenophobic, racist, neurotically vain, irritable, selfish and afraid. And yet putting people under the influence of engagement algorithms has managed to bring out even more of the worst of us.

Can we survive being under the ambient influence of behavior modification algorithms that make us stupider?

The business model that makes life worse is based on a particular ideology. This ideology holds that humans as we know ourselves are being replaced by something better that will be brought about by tech companies. Either we’ll become part of a giant collective organism run through algorithms, or artificial intelligence will soon be able to do most jobs, including running society, better than people. The overwhelming imperative is to create something like a universally Facebook-connected society or a giant artificial intelligence.

These “new gods” run on data, so as much data as possible must be gathered, and getting in the middle of human interactions is how you gather that data. If the process makes people crazy, that’s an acceptable price to pay.

The business model, not the algorithms, is also why people have to fear being put out of work by technology. [Continue reading…]

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