What if we could move fast and fix things?

Technology development is moving fast.

How can we speed up the process with how we develop rules and expectations around technology?

Technology development is moving fast.

Whether it is facial recognition, autonomous vehicles, or algorithmically sorting ideal job candidates, the creation and implementation of emerging technologies is happening at a pace far greater than our ability to grapple with the implications of the respective technology.

That’s a problem.

Our goal with All Tech Is Human is to accelerate the “process of progress,” which would allow us to grapple with the messy issues emerging technology is presenting at a much faster pace. This focus stems from an observation:

Technology is being developed at a fast pace, but how we are developing the rules and expectations around technology is moving frustratingly slow. We need to change that.

We can change the “process of progress” by uniting multiple stakeholders, promoting knowledge-sharing & collaboration, and creating a hub where people can be plugged in and learn from each other. We do NOT have a lack of people and organizations passionately working on viable solutions with emerging technology, but we do hunger for a way to build off of each other’s important work.

This is an issue I run into daily. It goes something like this:

  • A person—whether they are at an organization, a big tech company, working on a startup, at a university—is interested in changing our tech future for the better. Good!

  • That person then sets out to make a difference and wonders why they feel alone. Where are the others? This person then starts working from scratch. Missed opportunity!

  • Countless people and organizations are working on the very problem that the above person is interested in, but there are not enough corollaries to connect the knowledge and potential for collaboration.

What if there was an easy way to tap into the people, organizations, and content around building a better tech future?

We can accelerate tech change by bringing these people, ideas, and organizations together.

Why is the pace of “fixing tech” moving so slowly?

There are a lot of moving parts that impact how tech change occurs. Breaking it down into four groups, here are some of the hurdles that I believe are getting in the way. In order to speed up the process of meaningful tech change, there needs to be an improved interplay between these groups:

  • GENERAL PUBLIC: There is a hunger for a greater level of participation on behalf of the general public. Similar to “no taxation without representation,” there is the feeling that those being impacted by the implementation of emerging technology lack the ability to influence how that technology is developed & deployed. The public wants—and needs—a greater voice in this process.

  • POLICYMAKERS: There is now a lot more pressure on policymakers to create better guidelines and guardrails. How will these policymakers determine the best solutions? Do they know the people and organizations they should be tapping into for advice? Policymakers need an understanding of the ecosystem, available research, and experts.

  • MEDIA: The media plays a major role in educating the general public, but how do they go about knowing what issues to discuss and who to talk to? How does the media go about becoming fully informed around the tech/society issues?

  • INDUSTRY: Right now, big tech is in a defensive crouch. Lots of people within industry are looking for ways to improve, but are often tied down by their communications team that is nervous about bad press.

There is a dirty truth that ties together the general public, policymakers, media, and industry. It is that there are no easy solutions, as the process is messy and imperfect. “Fixing tech” is improving how we develop & deploy technologies to lessen harms and improve net positives. There is no silver bullet.

In other words, we have a technology problem. That is abundantly clear. But what we are facing does not require “tech solutionism.” There is no app for that.

We have a tech problem. We need a societal solution. Let’s co-create a more thoughtful future towards technology.

David Polgar