With unending revelations of privacy-related data abuses by Silicon Valley’s largest and farthest reaching companies – even Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for reform – we must acknowledge there is far more at stake than simply individual privacy and data. Big Tech’s immoral and unethical behavior regarding your privacy will be a mere annoyance when compared to their ungoverned and reckless forays into artificial intelligence.
The troubling reality is that there is a deeply disconcerting lack of transparency and accountability as extremely wealthy, powerful, self-interested people – looking no further than adding many more billions of dollars to their personal balance sheets – are making decisions that will affect a great many of us. More disturbing still is the fact that in many cases they are envisioning a future that most Americans do not desire and for which we remain woefully unprepared.
Here is only one example: A 2016 Obama White House report estimated that 83 percent of all jobs that pay under $20 an hour can be, and likely will be, automated. A 2013 study by the University of Oxford showed that nearly 50 percent of all U.S. employment is automatable.