Home | TECHNO-LOGIC | A 'Silicon Valley' actor is scared by the tech industry's 'blasé' attitude to dangerous tech

A 'Silicon Valley' actor is scared by the tech industry's 'blasé' attitude to dangerous tech

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
image

From Twitter's endemic problem with abuse and harassment to how Russian operatives used Facebook to spread propaganda and misinformation, technology can often be co-opted for malicious aims that its creators never intended.

And according to Kumail Nanjiani, one of the lead actors in popular TV show "Silicon Valley," tech companies are often woefully underprepared for when this happens.

The satirical comedy show lampoons the American technology industry, and in a series of tweets sent late on Wednesday, the actor said that he gets to visit companies and conferences to see new tech as part of his job. And what he sees is often deeply worrying — as is the reaction of employees when he asks questions.

"Often we'll see tech that is scary. I don't mean weapons etc. I mean altering video, tech that violates privacy, stuff [with obvious] ethical issues," he wrote. "And we'll bring up our concerns to them. We are realizing that ZERO consideration seems to be given to the ethical implications of tech."

He paraphrased their typical reaction as: "We're not making it for that reason but the way [people] choose to use it  isn't our fault. Safeguard will develop."

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/925832826091479040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Only "Can we do this?" Never "should we do this? We've seen that same blasé attitude in how Twitter or Facebook deal w abuse/fake news.

The consequences of this blasé attitude, he argued, are potentially catastrophic. "Tech has the capacity to destroy us. We see the negative effect of  social media. & no ethical considerations are going into dev of  tech. You can't put this stuff back in the box. Once it's out there, it's out there. And there are no guardians. It's terrifying. The end." 

Here's the actor's entire tweetstorm:

Thread: I know there's a lot of scary stuff in the world rn, but this is something I've been thinking about that I can't get out of my head.

As a cast member on a show about tech, our job entails visiting tech companies/conferences etc. We meet ppl eager to show off new tech.

Often we'll see tech that is scary. I don't mean weapons etc. I mean altering video, tech that violates privacy, stuff w obv ethical issues.

And we'll bring up our concerns to them. We are realizing that ZERO consideration seems to be given to the ethical implications of tech.

They don't even have a pat rehearsed answer. They are shocked at being asked. Which means nobody is asking those questions.

"We're not making it for that reason but the way ppl choose to use it  isn't our fault. Safeguard will develop." But tech is moving so fast.

That there is no way humanity or laws can keep up. We don't even know how to deal with open death threats online.

Only "Can we do this?" Never "should we do this? We've seen that same blasé attitude in how Twitter or Facebook deal w abuse/fake news.

Tech has the capacity to destroy us. We see the negative effect of social media. & no ethical considerations are going into dev of  tech.

You can't put this stuff back in the box. Once it's out there, it's out  there. And there are no guardians. It's terrifying. The end.

NOW WATCH: Samsung released the widest computer monitor you can buy — here's what it's like

KNOW MORE

SEE ALSO: AI and CGI will transform information warfare, boost hoaxes, and escalate revenge porn

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted):

total: | displaying:

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:

  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
Tags
No tags for this article
Rate this article
0