Tech in 2017: Crazy, troubled and out of control?


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There’s little question about it, it’s been a tough 12 months for the know-how business.

It’s additionally been a loopy 12 months for tech, with cryptocurrencies surging and rollercoastering in worth — presumably minting a number of millionaires alongside the way in which, assuming they really cashed their coin out.

But even these unusual crypto-highs have include some equal and reverse lows: Scams, hacks, pointlessly wasteful vitality consumption, and — zooming out — the baffled confusion of anybody exterior the crypto-boom attempting to know what logic (if any) it runs on.

In the meantime AI’s touted effectivity features have additionally been weighed down by counternarratives this 12 months — the tales the place AI is proven preferring to advertise clickbait. Or to be biased. Or worse.

AI blowing “bubbles of hate” as one YouTube coverage staffer memorably put it throughout a political grilling. Although he merely advocated using but extra AI to repair the issue.

The naivety and irresponsibility of tech giants whose platforms have scaled so large and received so highly effective left the strongest impression in 2017, as advertising and marketing claims about fostering ‘openness and connection’ unravelled within the face of the literal reverse: Rising division and social strife.

If solely Twitter had listened to all of the customers telling it to repair its troll drawback for years. Ditto YouTube and its below-the-fold remark hellscape. And Fb and pretend information.

Worse was on present too: Uber’s fame lies in tatters for a purpose. And large knowledge breaches got here to look like an nearly routine prevalence in 2017.

Sexism and sexual harassment have been additionally proven to be an unpleasant and embedded drawback throughout the business.

Going into 2018, tech actually has plenty of cleansing home to do.

Trying forward, firms of all sizes needs to be attempting to see exterior their very own filter bubbles and Kool-Assist-stocked canteens — and asking themselves genuinely powerful questions on who and what shall be impacted by their know-how.

The unpopularity being sharply directed without delay shiny tech manufacturers needs to be a paradigm shifting get up name.

Questions are being requested about platform energy. Regulatory guidelines and knives are being sharpened. Politicians are wanting to level the finger of blame. And with a lot tech-fueled ammunition, who can blame them?

After the surge, the crash.

Faucet the arrows to take an A to Z tour by way of the tech that troubled the information this 12 months.

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