As somebody that is passionate about the development of new, data driven technology – you would be forgiven for thinking that Dan England would take the accepted, easy route of “nothing to see here”, and most certainly not put his head above that proverbial ‘tech juggernaut parapet’, however in his latest white paper he does just that.
England’s latest white paper published this week ‘The technology that makes us will break us’ pulls no punches and shares examples of why in his words there is a very real need for a “cohesive, regulated framework for technology product development”.
Dan says “As a technology strategist, I have a duty to not only challenge processes, markets and technology, but to ensure that what we develop and bring to the world is going to add very real value, and encourage healthy growth by our users. We need to be aware that the generations from millennials onwards, will know very little else but being surrounded by powerful, interactive technology, giving them the communications, data and news they want – any time of the day and night in abundance. The growth of this technology has been so steep, particularly during COVID19, but yet – there is very little data to truly understand the long-term health implications of such ‘always on’ data overload. Early information already reports clear increases in suicide, learning difficulties, cyber bullying, social issues and increasing mental health complaints compared with just 10 years ago. Notwithstanding the fact that such technology also brings a lot of good, support, education, and companionship.
The real challenge comes from the fact that before we truly understand the long term implications of the new online world, technology manufacturers are already under huge pressure to develop data driven, artificial intelligence & machine learning tools, to exploit the data being generated by its users. This is seen very clearly in Facebook – where users are fully immersed in a virtual reality environment – policed only by Facebook themselves, and of course data is sold to create massive revenue from users for tech owners, advertisers and service partners. This quite literally manipulates and changes the course of peoples lives in real time. I used Facebook as it is a clear example – but we are in this monetized data world literally all day every day, which is impossible to self-police. Governments who benefit from such access to data and unprecedented influence are not pushing this agenda hard enough for obvious reasons. But this is a ticking time bomb, we need to address on a global level and fast. “
Read white paper here – https://danofengland.com/publications
Dan England is a UK based technology strategist and successful entrepreneur. He supports the efforts of the Centre for Humane Technology and the recent causes as highlighted in the Social Dilemma documentary on Netflix. Instagram @daneng1and