Weigel, Government discussed on 1A

90.3 KAZU
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Weigel now back to our program it seems is that if you're thinking about sort of where this work touches the humana where it intersects with our lives there like different levels at which to think about intervening they're sort of the the government regulation level at which something like the general data protection regulation intervenes there's the corporate level there's an individual level there's all sorts of like tech worker activism and organizing that's been happening in the past few years and gained a lot more attention to things like tech won't build it recent Amazon actions just in the past few days I think maybe you could say a little bit about I get anyone of these different levels that speaks to you are how you how you would address you know whether it's the government of the corporation or the tech workers get a coalition or the individual person worried about their privacy yeah how do you think about approaching those different kinds of agents and telling them about their agents in the yeah I mean as a social scientist all things to me about the actor incentives and systems of power so maybe my stately controversial opinion here is that I don't think tech workers should have to unionize if they can do a bit of a Twitter debate the other day with someone about this when they retire they but this article about and they were talking about sort of a scorched earth strategy if you join a company and you find an ethical and I'm like you know that is something that a highly privileged person can do because you can go without having a job you can afford to be unemployed you can also afford to potentially have a you know have a negative mark on your employment history in these are all considerations that the a and and frankly it's a massive burden for someone to do you feel the responsibility of the almost single handedly feeling like that they need to push this change I think anyone who's done it has only done so at like very significant like emotional and often financial costs and that doesn't get talked about frankly so like quality that I think the people who can do that shouldn't have missed this Twitter finance some it was it was a very you know there's obviously a very friendly conversation but I I'd like I felt like you know kind of a controversial opinion there and of course I think collective action is important I think the fact that these workers are working collectively is what's important here but this notion of this individual whistle blower this individual person is rarely go all out this is problematic me for a few reasons others is really great Rebecca Solnit peace call out called when the here is the problem and it's been absolutely inspirational to me when thinking about why we need like change in the system and it's not up to these individual actors so what she talks about in in the article is whenever she tries to create a story about like a feminist collective or movement she often gets so he can I can too just like write another story about could attend burger with Peter Ginsberg in which she talks about is when we have these individual heroes what it does is it it and not just absolves the individual the non hero from action but it it also dissuades us through collective action and it makes us think that my little bit that I can do like unless I'm willing to go all out you know like quit my job whistle blow you know it's cetera do something illegal it's not worth it I think collective action has really what's been what's motivated a lot of the change so that's kind of the bottom up from the top down what I find really interesting is hearing lawmakers trying to grapple with how to regulate AI what to do about it and I think especially the lawmaker perspective they're trying to understand what this technology even me right and then also had a cheap regulation around something that seems to be constantly shifting and changing and how important do you think that is I mean I know different people take different positions on this I remember when mark Zuckerberg testified in Congress all sorts of people were clowning the way on a single saying though they say the Facebook they don't know what it is and I found my so for me to my surprise defending the is yeah members of our democracy but it is easy to spending the the the Congress people saying you know like they might not know how the chemicals work but that doesn't we can't regulate drug I mean they don't even know right you need to learn how to code to be able to regulate it yeah where do you come down on this question of how lawmakers are policy makers need to be educated on technology yeah I mean I think it's about a question that I get asked about like media and journalistic asked about you know just the general public I think the important person is and the potential impact of it so you're right you don't need to understand how a particular chemical reaction works need to understand that you know when a particular chemical is in the water it can lead to birth defects right what they need to understand is like the at this if we don't have the right level of explain ability in transparency algorithms harmful things can happen here's how harmful things can happen so it's it's about them understanding how to map out the risk an impact space and regulate or you know past guidelines along that help companies create the right kinds of guard rails not like maybe like a side thought here so I know a lot of that narrative about tack gets dominated by the big tech companies but what I actually find a lot a lot of the clients I work with who are adopting this technology they're they're not to to them technology is not precious it's one way that they can provide their good or service to customers with directions most interested in is providing their widget to customer access and in in doing so like there they're looking to trust in this technology that the two maybe don't know a lot about so they want to be sure that it's going to work the way they want and they're actually looking for basically like a like dot A. guidelines are guardrails for the government or whoever to tell them yeah this is actually appropriate or inappropriate use of this technology is the way you should or shouldn't do this so a lot of my clients actually does a test tech tech averse but they're a little wary at this point and they're very very concerned about the negative impacts this could have on customers because they're ultimately just concerned about the longevity of the organization and using their useful lessons from sort of the business fear our company's and customers to be drawn for policymakers and citizens I think there's a lot of parallels I think companies do tend to get more immediate feedback from customers because they like quarterly revenue etcetera where as a politician kind of you have to wait for your election cycle but there is this like level of responsiveness and I think a lot of lawmakers have gone back to their constituencies have understand like what my problems at home when it comes to this kind of technology and what does it mean to the people who live in my district I think it's actually very compelling if mean one thing I have noticed like the Americans Americanism is active and fast in the last few years is how much more local politics has become I think for a while it was it was quite global for awhile then it became very nationally focused and now it's actually become very very local and people are very concerned at what happens in their district it and I think this also translates with how we think about this technology people are thinking very much about how does that affect my day to day has affect my daily commute or you know how safe my children are and you think that's a product of technology is getting woven into the fabric of everyday local life more apps I think that's part of and the also the other part is this is hyper personalization everything is very very tailored to us now for better or for worse thing is like another hour long conversation we can have on whether or not it's making people sort of more self absorbed in worth selfish this constant inundation of things that are supposed to be made for you but I I do think it does lead to in a positive way people pushing back and saying this is not the way I want this to be and I know this is a bit of a of a non sequitur but I know you do have this critique of the smart city or the idea of the sort of personalized Polaris coming in at us through its through algorithmic systems do you wanna speak a little bit to that again this sort of feeds into some of the thoughts and fears I have about the surveillance state right now we're in the space world a lot of governments want to provide better services to their their citizens by instituting quote smart cities now if you ask anybody what's the difference in a smart students availing state I don't think people to tell you and I can guarantee you within the next year they will be synonymous with each other and fundamentally the problem is in the value proposition when people are sold when lawmakers are sold the idea of a smart city it's always business there to safety and security right we're gonna catch the bad people we're gonna find missing children you know it's always about inherently it's about stopping the the bad people and in doing so just like with these home surveillance technologies there has to be an other to has to be a bad person guess who the bad people are there the people we've always vilified when I can invent new villains which is going to find new ways to be classified people as the old villains we've always had so my my fear actually is that and this one was actually goes back to my dissertation on that day I think about it is that this this value proposition is not how society is for how society works we think about the literature on the social contract on the rule of law we don't adhere to the law because we're so afraid of being caught by the police we adhered to the law because we've all agree that's the best way for society to work we do the right thing because we feel like we should not because we're so worried that some drone is going to pick me up on camera and my concern here is that by over policing we're gonna road that social fabric we're gonna get bystander effect we're gonna get people not wanting to be involved because they'll be worried about maybe liability will be worried about you know being tracked leader and ultimately I'm I'm very concerned that just this concept of a flourishing society will actually be chilled if we are over policing every little action that people do care that's fi taught a class called a people's history of the internet Leicester last year and I did the two units that flow into each other at the Chinese theater the Chinese and it's our it's Google's sidewalk labs and then we do that Chinese surveillance state which is a topic that has gotten even more poignant since I taught the class you know yes ago or whatever it was but a but I hear that are there any practical let's see to put it another way are there ways that the smartness of the.

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