• November 28, 2022

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A mere 20 years after this article’s cover photo was taken, New York State is about to welcome its first-ever legal cannabis retail dispensaries. In November, New York’s Office of Cannabis …

In which way will technology be used for good? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Douglas Rushkoff, author of ‘Survival of the Richest’ and ‘Team Human’, on Quora:

I don’t know that it *will* be used for good, but I know *how* it could be used for good.

It’s really as simple as asking a couple of simple questions before building or modifying something: how will this piece of technology help somebody do something they want to do? What can a person do with this technology? That’s the perspective we want to have.


Most developers instead ask, “what can I do to people with this technology?” They want to figure out how to “get people to” do something, and use technology on people. We develop algorithms to look for “exploits” in human behavior – ways of getting people to do things that may very well be against their own best interests (but at least they will spend more money).

The other thing to look at is whether we are building technologies to isolate people or to help them connect in real ways. Is the technology really engendering social behavior and community? Or is it simply interceding in order to extract money or data?

Just ask whether you’re fulfilling a need.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.


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