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daniel harvey @dancharvey
, 43 tweets, 19 min read Read on Twitter
Since people have been asking I thought I'd recap my #dystopia talk at @theuxcrunch from Thursday. The examples used are not what if scenarios. These all happened. #triggerwarning's apply. If you can make it thru to the end I have suggestions for how we can claw back some hope.
This is a quote you’ve all probably seen a million times. #Advertising & #techie shitheads love quoting it before they do trends porn. What they never seem to understand is how politically subversive the last bit is. B/c those wankers abuse it I swore I’d never use it.
Still, paraphrasing it is useful for my point. One person’s future is another person’s dystopia and thanks to the fundamental power of the Internet as a tool for distribution we can spread dystopia far and wide. Often before we know it, realise it, or even imagine it.
Before I start my rant (this is your 2nd #triggerwarning) I wanted to take a moment to dismiss nonsense distractions like the #AI #Terminator scenarios twats like Musk like to raise to misdirect people from more pressing concerns. That Skynet fear-mongering is 100% bullshit.
And this is why Musk is full of shit. Pedro Domingos hit the nail on the head when he said “People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they're too stupid and they've already taken over the world."
Add to that this insightful comment from Michelle Alexander, “It’s tempting to believe that computers will be neutral and objective, but #algorithms are nothing more than opinions embedded in mathematics.”
And this one by Zeynep Tufekci, “We're building this infrastructure of surveillance authoritarianism merely to get people to click on ads.”
Taken as a whole those last three points are terrifying and can be summarised as “Really shitty #AI is already here. It’s biased as fuck. And it exists to make ad revenue for the morally bankrupt.”

This is your last #triggerwarning.
Despite meticulous review of her #privacy settings on FB, Bobbi Duncan was outed to her parents when they were notified she was added to the Facebook group for The Queer Chorus at her college. She was disowned and attempted suicide. Group settings overrode her personal ones.
In 2016 FB became the default news source for Myanmar. By Aug-Sept 2017 hate speech on the platform reached critical levels. In that same span of time more than 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed by Buddhist citizenry & military. 650,000 had to flee persecution. This is #genocide
“These videos, wherever they are made, however they come to be made, and whatever their conscious intention (i.e. to accumulate ad revenue) are feeding upon a system which was consciously intended to show videos to children for profit. The system is complicit in the abuse.”
China is using drones disguised as pigeons. Australia has The Capability, a db that pools biometric info despite concerns the matching is 93% wrong in some cases. Baltimore works with a company called Persistent #Surveillance Systems that uses drones for #predictivepolicing
Clayton Delery, in his book “Out for Queer Blood” defined #stochasticterrorism as “The use of mass, public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.
and if you thought about #fakenews fuelling the above then just wait until #deepfakes are more common

Huxley foresaw "the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
So what can we do as consumers, creators, and a society to fix all this shit? Because we have to fix it. We can’t just unplug and walk away. Walking away doesn’t help solve the problems for those left behind and it shirks our own responsibility in this mess.
As individuals we can modify our relationship with #bigtech. The #TimeWellSpent movement recommends several good tactics as a start:
1. notifications only from people
2. Go Grayscale
3. Tools only home screen
4. Launch other apps by typing
5. Get an alarm clock
6. Go cold turkey
As employees we can take #collectiveaction and engage in #actvisim more. Good recent examples
Fight back against Google’s China search engine, Military contracts at Google, Amazon
Google harassment walkout
Standford students pledging to not work for Salesforce over their ICE work
As voters we can support policies & regulations that put our human right to #privacy above the bottom lines of the #corporatesurveillance complex. Good examples:
Oakland's anti-surveillance ordinances
Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed “Consumer Data Protection Act”
As designers and technologists we can:
Enforce existing ToS evenly and fairly. No one is above the law and no one should be above ToS either.
More logical definitions of protected groups.
Better #algorithms to detect #hatespeech.
Down rank / #shadowban hateful content
As designers and technologists we can leverage & improve existing #copyright tools to not just enrich the pockets of entrenched entertainment interests but to squash #deepfakes that will endanger our democracies and algorithmically generated mash-ups that traumatise our children.
As designers & technologists we need to rethink our fundamental interactions. We need to #designforkindness. Small interventions like prompts that emphasise empathy, warn against idealogical bias, undo angry responses, or drive to private conversations.
Beyond different interfaces we have to build different networks. That starts by challenging assumptions that #advertising should be the default revenue model for everything. There are other models: from subscriptions to SAAS direct revenue to DTC sales.
But we’re not going to solve the problems that rich white Californian tech bros have heaped on us all without having more different designers and technologists in the mix. We need real #DiversityandInclusion in #bigtech if we're going to fix anything.
It blows my mind in a and way that people don't know more about this. It's very important. more here:…
Amazing piece of investigative work…
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