Capitalism doesn’t have a conscience. It is a system in which money flows to where it can make the most return. If somebody can make it faster cheaper and easier the system will determine that they are the winners. Thankfully people do have consciences and it is they that can provide the bulwark against the excesses of capitalism.
As technology plays a growing role in our lives and we work in what some call the second industrial revolution, we must ensure that we don’t make the mistakes of the first. Until legislation caught up this period was exemplified by a successful, super rich elite and swathes of people living in desperate and abject poverty. The Luddites were a backlash against these conditions.
The rise of digital technologies, unchecked, has the power to create a similar environment, a super rich elite who are in control of the technologies and a disenfranchised unemployed or under-employed mass. It may be a dystopian view and the past is no guide to the future but we should beware.
This is why I am interested in the Not Equal programme, a UK Research and Innovation funded network, that aims to foster new collaborations in order to create the conditions for digital technology to support social justice, and develop a path for inclusive digital innovation and a fairer future for all in and through the digital economy.
The programme works in three key challenge areas:
Algorithmic Social Justice: How can computers and their underlining algorithms help make the decisions that affect us all, fairer?
Digital Security for all: What digital security models can ensure the safeguarding of all in our digital society?
Fairer futures for business + workforce: What business models may offer fairer opportunities and working conditions for all in the platform economy?
There will be a new call for projects in January 2020.
You can find out more here: https://not-equal.tech/