vendredi 19 mai 2017

# 119/313 - Eliminating the human

Juste après avoir écrit et programmé le billet d'hier, je reçois dans ma boîte mail, à 22:43, un mail de David Byrne, l'ex-chanteur des Talking Heads. Non, il ne m'écrivait pas en personne... Je me suis abonné à sa newsletter depuis un bon moment déjà, je ne sais trop pourquoi d'ailleurs, car je la lis rarement, paresseux que je suis de lire l'anglais. Mais là, pour le coup, j'ai très vite compris. Car ce qui était frappant, étonnant, renversant c'est que c'était un écho direct à ce que je venais d'écrire :

"I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has had an unspoken overarching agenda—it has been about facilitating the need for LESS human interaction. It’s not a bug—it’s a feature. We might think Amazon was about selling us books we couldn’t find locally—and it was and what a brilliant idea—but maybe it was also just as much about eliminating human interaction. I see a pattern emerging in the innovative technology that has gotten the most attention, gets the bucks and often, no surprise, ends up getting developed and implemented. What much of this technology seems to have in common is that it removes the need to deal with humans directly. The tech doesn’t claim or acknowledge this as its primary goal, but it seems to often be the consequence. I’m sort of thinking maybe it is the primary goal. There are so many ways imagination can be manifested in the technical sphere. Many are wonderful and seem like social goods, but allow me a little conspiracy mongering here—an awful lot of them have the consequence of lessening human interaction.
I suspect that we almost don’t notice this pattern because it’s hard to imagine what an alternative focus of tech development might be. Most of the news we get barraged with is about algorithms, AI, robots and self driving cars, all of which fit this pattern, though there are indeed many technological innovations underway that have nothing to do with eliminating human interaction from our lives. CRISPR-cas9 in geneticsnew films that can efficiently and cheaply cool houses and quantum computing to name a few, but what we read about most and what touches us daily is the trajectory towards less human involvement. Note: I don’t consider chat rooms and product reviews as “human interaction”; they’re mediated and filtered by a screen.
I am not saying these developments are not efficient and convenient; this is not a judgement regarding the services and technology. I am simply noticing a pattern and wondering if that pattern means there are other possible roads we could be going down, and that the way we’re going is not in fact inevitable, but is (possibly unconsciously) chosen. Keep reading at!" [C'est moi qui souligne]
M'envoyer un texte comme ça, juste après cette histoire de bots et de Stanislas Lem, c'est tout à fait l'humour de l'attracteur étrange... Il ne faut pas hésiter à lire le reste de l'article, c'est très intéressant. Byrne donne maints exemples où la technologie diminue l'interaction humaine.

Un peu de Talking Heads pour finir, Once in a lifetime. Thank you, the bots !

Aucun commentaire: