The Return of Magic: Technological Complexification

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#magic #technology #complexity #complexification #social media #digital privacy #innovation #futures #consumers #belief #invention #possibilities #hyperspecialistion #builders #knowledge #techno-ecological #history #Enlightenment #privacy #digital privacy #problem frame #human experience

Today’s tech is characterized by rapidly accelerating complexity, both in the densely layered technology itself but also in the increasingly hyper-specialized people who are needed to build it. But each person who builds it, and certainly most people who use tech, have a diminishing ability to understand how the whole of the techno-ecological niche we have created for ourselves (what I term ‘the return of magic’).

The case for this argument is outlined and then shows that the problems associated with this phenomenon are amplified by an inherent characteristic of a complex system - the lack of ability to know, understand, and predict system outcomes.

Against the broad scope of human history, the result of these forces could represent a reversal of a trend that started in the Enlightenment, but it also has very specific and actionable consequences on the day-to-day work of the tech industry and on Digital Privacy of our customers.

This talk aims to frame the problems, but in a constructive way that allows us to begin to build and adopt better technology, which could scaffold a better human experience.

Pat Scannell, 1 August 2022, "The Return of Magic: Technological Complexification", IEEE International Symposium on Digital Privacy and Social Media, San Jose, CA, 1 August 2022, pre-record, https://attend.ieee.org/isdpsm-2022/

Today’s tech is characterized by rapidly accelerating complexity, both in the densely layered technology itself but also in the increasingly hyper-specialized people who are needed to build it. But each person who builds it, and certainly most people who...

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