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The Cost of Free Social Networks


The Cost of Free Social Networks


Supriya Prakash Sen shares a few key takeaways on the dark side of the tech revolution. 

Came across this an alarming but important book called “The Internet is NOT the Answer” (2015) by Andrew Keen, a well known commentator based in Silicon Valley. Written by an industry veteran- it is obviously a ringside view, and buttressed by extensive and credible references. This, and others like this, bring to mind three basic issues with the internet based economy as it is evolving today:

First basic issue – which people can see and are protesting – is Privacy 

But the larger issue – is that the human mind is being influenced by a few who control the platforms (like Facebook and Google) – and as yet, people haven’t yet started to realize the impact this is having.

And all this is leading to a future issue, which is going to dwarf everything else. Even those who think that they are in control, will get swamped by the speed of evolution of machine learning. It’s not just science fiction any more- but within the realms of possibility and even probability that one day, artificial intelligence starts to control human intelligence. Bulwarks have to be put in place now.

Piques your interest? You have to read the book, but some interesting takeaways below.

As is by now familiar – in the space of one generation, the digital world and the networked society is reshaping employment, identity, privacy, prosperity justice, civility at breakneck speed. In some of my previous posts, I referred to some amazing possibilities that it has unleashed. Can Disruptive Innovation Alter Our Life Span? and Artificial Intelligence and its impact on Jobs and Society, or even The Thrill and Danger of Smart Cities -for example. But this book describes how Internet, rather than being a win-win as it set out to be, has grown to now become a negative feedback loop – and where we, the network users, are its victims rather than beneficiaries. First we shape our tools, and then our tools shape us!

Read the full article, Dark Side of the Tech Revolution: Ethics of the 1% Economy, on LinkedIn.