Excellent – RECOVERED
Photo by Arne Beck
What is a human in the digital age? What are you worth? What are our children worth?
The digital age gave rise to sophisticated technology that has evolved faster than our ability to regulate it. It is now an integral part of our everyday lives and in many ways, enhances the human experience, but beneath many a bedazzling interfaces is an architecture engineered for our ignorance.
Most of us are aware of the metadata we provide about ourselves when we “Accept” those terms and conditions, but how many reflect over the use of this data and the epistemic inequality it creates on a global scale. Cambridge Analytica scandal was a wakeup call for many, yet this practice is the new norm. The capture of our information often bypasses our very awareness, allowing machine learning algorithms to know more about us than we realize. With enough information, they know us better than we know ourselves and with access to our psychological profiles, Surveillance Capitalists (companies that trade in “human behavioural predictions”) can use subtle and subliminal cues, rewards and punishments to influence our behaviour without us even realising it.
In the words of Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard Business School Professor and author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”, – “Unequal knowledge about us produces unequal power over us”
My main intention with these pieces was to create a feeling of discomfort in the observer; an understanding that the trading in human experiences is not ok and needs addressing before we allow it to eat away at our personal sovereignty, privacy and democracy.
Not all is bleak though. Awareness is the first step to change. The blindfold has been removed and hope lies in a clear vision of the future we want for ourselves and our children. We just need to decide if we are worth more than mere stock for profit, and if so, let it be known.