DATA + AI + Human Well-Being

November 13, 2018

There seems to be many ways to help make sense of what is happening in the world and newsflash not all the answers are on social media or the internet. But can be found from revisiting philosophies from the East and the science, psychology, philosophy and technology of the West. 

 

Whenever there is a decrease of righteousness in the world and unrighteousness seems to be on the rise, The Lord of mercy and compassion manifests to bring balance.

 

BG IV.7

 

‘We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.’

 –George Orwell, Animal Farm

 

George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1946 as both a reaction and warning of the dangers of totalitarianism that he witnessed during WWII:“We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?”

 

Is this where we’re now heading if we do not take a stand in the regulation of AI and a keener interest in our world outside of the Internet? AI is constantly watching us through many mediums sometimes mediums we are unconscious of.

 

 

Algorithms have powerful implications for how we live. Two of the most powerful algorithms in our lives are probably the page-rank algorithm on Google that decides the order of the results for a search term you might search for so therefore that algorithm decides the things that you encounter; the things you’re exposed to; what you know of the world.

 

Algorithms are decision-making bits of code,and because we live in an environment that’s dominated by code and software that indeed requires software to function to a large extent algorithms are a really important presence in our lives. They make decisions about us, and for us, all the time. 

 

RSA (21st century enlightenment) Questions if Mass automation is a myth? and highlights the need for us to harness this new technology on our own terms. Reflecting the importance of awareness, learning and education to rekindle that same spirit of pragmatic optimism which saw technology not as a threat, but as a force for human progress. The mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is to enrich society through ideas and action.

 

How digitally distracted are WE?

As an example nearly 20% of the total time spent online in the U.S. across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms; Facebook alone makes up 14% of total time spent online. With this amount of time consumption it can be argued that social networks like Twitter and Facebook consume a large portion of our lives. 

 

Responsible for a psychological phenomenon called  ‘Groupthink’ that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.

 

Groupthink is a construct of social psychology but has an extensive reach and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, management, and organizational theory, as well as important aspects of deviant religious cult behaviour. So we also have to be aware of how these elements can also be reflected through certain yoga linages and schools. Most of the initial research on groupthink was conducted by Irving Janis, a research psychologist from Yale University who published an influential book in 1972, which was later revised in 1982. 

 

In order to successfully develop the necessary skills to manage this new world. Learning and education of digital society along with Holistic approaches may play their part to create a greater awareness to the world as it evolves and our place in it hopefully cultivating Digital Well-being.

 

In the Jisc Elements of Digital Literacy digital well-being is defined as: 

“The capacity to look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings”. This statement to me really reflects the constant need to be aware of our environment, to ask questions and to learn what to do to be able to move with the times

 

RSA (21st century enlightenment) Questions if Mass automation is a myth? and highlights the need for us to harness this new technology on our own terms. Reflecting the importance of awareness, learning and education to rekindle that same spirit of pragmatic optimism which saw technology not as a threat, but as a force for human progress. The mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is to enrich society through ideas and action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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