Technology is an extraordinary compliment to human intelligence. The advent of the internet, which empowered us to connect on a large scale, combined with the evolution of computers into ubiquitous pocket devices, has formed a central nervous system for our species. Information has always been valuable, but this nervous system has created a wealth of quantifiable metrics, making data the most important asset of our century. That is amazing, but as we know, Murphy’s Law states that “Everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Why would Tech Neutrality be the exception?
Tech Neutrality is a mindset around tech as purpose-driven tools, and the ethics of user experience and data use. It requires technologically-conscious users, because our behaviour and needs dictate the direction of tech and, in turn, tech affects our behaviour. Users who have a basic understanding of how platforms use their data, have a better shot at recognizing the nature of what they’re dealing with and can make wiser decisions regarding usage.
Given the exponential evolution of Artificial Intelligence, mobile devices, wearables, and recently neurological implants for enabling a powerful brain-computer interface, we’re at a crucial point as a species. Data ownership is paramount. An enterprise solution has no rights to a company’s data and is responsible for keeping it confidential, while the opposite applies to our personal data. Because we don’t want to pay for online services that we’re used to getting for free. Everything comes at a price. “FREE” products cost you your data, and in some cases, your privacy.
Taking steps to maintain Tech Neutrality now is vital. Considering the hackability of technology and human behaviour, as the line between human and machine becomes more blurry, the stakes are high. If Tech Neutrality is maintained, we’d be able to harness the benefits of technology while controlling for the downsides, in order to opt-in to a utopian future.
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