Monthly Archives: April 2017

“Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?” from Scientific American


Technology is reshaping our lives and society at an unfathomable pace. This (long) article is the best collection of ideas I’ve read that wrestle with the role of individuals, companies, governments, and NGOs in managing the limitless risks of our future. Big data, Big Brother, the end of privacy, commercial targeting, paternalistic nudges, the homogenization of identity groups, the Chinese “Citizen Score”, and (implied) the Singularity.

A few thoughts:

  • The natural extension of Donald Trump: moving from anti-foreigner (purportedly stealing jobs) to anti-technology (definitely altering jobs). Prepare for the “luddite populist”.
  • There is SO MUCH entrepreneurial opportunity in this burgeoning existential froth. What will the companies that broker the ethical use of online data look like? How to make the use of information and progress in AI less abstract and more actionable?
  • If you’re not taking action to protect yourself on the internet, START NOW!