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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Virtuous technology

Mustafa Suleyman
Originally published June 26, 2018

Hereis an excerpt:

There are at least three important asymmetries between the world of tech and the world itself. First, the asymmetry between people who develop technologies and the communities who use them. Salaries in Silicon Valley are twice the median wage for the rest of the US and the employee base is unrepresentative when it comes to gender, race, class and more. As we have seen in other fields, this risks a disconnect between the inner workings of organisations and the societies they seek to serve.

This is an urgent problem. Women and minority groups remain badly underrepresented, and leaders need to be proactive in breaking the mould. The recent spotlight on these issues has meant that more people are aware of the need for workplace cultures to change, but these underlying inequalities also make their way into our companies in more insidious ways. Technology is not value neutral — it reflects the biases of its creators — and must be built and shaped by diverse communities if we are to minimise the risk of unintended harms.

Second, there is an asymmetry of information regarding how technology actually works, and the impact that digital systems have on everyday life. Ethical outcomes in tech depend on far more than algorithms and data: they depend on the quality of societal debate and genuine accountability.

The information is here.