Kin Lane

Fearing Technology Over Those Who Control It

Stories of whether or not we should fear losing our jobs to robots have been going on for a long time. Another layer of this I'm seeing expand lately is whether we should be fearing machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). I am always fascinated to hear the reasons people fear technology as well as the reasons people give regarding why you should not fear technology.

One aspect of this back and forth that fascinates me is why nobody talks about fearing the people behind the technology, while also continuing to worship the ground that people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk walk on. There is no reason to fear technology. There are many, many reasons for fearing the people that are developing and have control over technology. It all just seems like such a con game being played by those in power. Kind of like the stock market where you can play the ups and downs of the market.

Robots are scary, and they are coming for your jobs -- do you mean corporate leaders are greedy and want to pay you as little as possible, or just replace you if they can. Artificial Intelligence can do evil things and will become smarter than you -- do you mean the white engineers behind these things either straight up do evil, or are greedy fuckers and will allow really evil things to be done as long as they keep getting rich? When I see each story come across my monitoring dashboard I can't help but think about the reasons behind -- for and against.

Technology isn't good, nor bad, nor neutral -- it just is a tool. The people who have control of the technology are good, bad, or neutral. Neutral oftentimes winds up being pretty fucking bad when you are a privileged white dude with a lot of money, and unwilling to understand the shady shit people are doing with your genius invention. These stories about fearing or not fearing technology seems like some shady Trump administration tactic to just distract us while they pull all the real strings that end up screw all of us over, and make those in power richer.