Humanizing Tech

The inevitability of human progress and the extreme paranoia to suppress and slow it...in the next 5, 10, and 20 years the pace of technology will reach heights that were never considered or imagined and scoffed at today. From the driverless electric car, paperless ticketing (think airline tickets on smartphones today using biometrics as a security and authentication measure), or personalized medicine based on your unique genome, being just a small handful of those technological advancements.

Consider that in 10-12 years when your flight lands you queue up an Uber taxi on your smartphone with the location of where you're heading, as you approach the vehicle waiting for you, you load your things asked on your phone if you're ready and the robotic electric Uber taxi makes it's way to your destination. And payment is made by scanning your fingerprint on your mobile phone. It's more of an inevitability than a hypothetical guess.

There's an ongoing mistrust of technological innovation and it's completely understandable considering google's lack of respect to the user (yes you are their product) not to mention the ongoing protests they seem to be getting, target's inability to take IT security seriously, Facebook's psychological experiments on its users which obviously pushes the boundaries of ethical behavior, and a serious multitude of other data breaches and an ongoing invasion of privacy on behalf of the government of whatever country you're residing in, there's no reason to simply give in to the idea of being able to trust technology.

There will be without a doubt an overwhelming amount of pushback over the technologies that will be introduced over the next couple of years. The thing that many tech companies need to understand is how to introduce such technologies that don't add the layer of cynicism people currently have toward the current state of affairs we see today. 

Apple is doing this to an extent pushing out subtle features here and there to gain the trust of the user that the user's data and information won't be used to sell ads or for other material or capital gains. Nest seemed to be on this approach until they were eventually purchased by Google and now their inability to deliver a consistent message of how the users data would be used (significant chance the data will be used to sell ads).

The thinking in a majority of tech companies and start ups mainly comes from an ideology of what can be done that could change how people access information. In a way Google presented this with Google Glass that has been met with deserved pushback, the misunderstanding is what an actual consumer is and what they define as a consumer. It can be said that they view consumers as they view themselves whereas regular consumers don't make a six figure salary where they can simply purchase sixteen hundred dollar wearable computer that could easily invade someone's privacy.

In order to humanize technology, companies have to see things from the perspective of an actual consumer, someone who views certain advancements in technology as potentially problematic, in many instances simply unethical (again consider the Facebook fiasco). Beware that this final suggestion will seem far reaching but there's a line from a film that fits in line with the problems behind humanizing technology, and it coincidentally comes from Jeff Goldblum's character Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park related to the questionable ethical curiosity of scientists. 

There's no doubt Google, Facebook and many other tech companies have the ability to do amazing things in technology that could benefit so many, but their hubris obviously outweighs the ethical beliefs and standards within the organization, on one hand you have corporate behemoths with their head in the sand as disruption steadily approaches, on the other hand you have tech behemoths with their head in the sand who will disrupt traditional business models for the betterment of themselves foolishly believing it's for the betterment of everyone, in some cases this is true in many cases this is grossly false.