Essay by Mike Kubzansky: “…Channeling the power of technology for the good of society requires a shared vision of an ideal society. Despite the country’s increasing polarization, most Americans agree on the principles of a representative democracy and embrace the three quintessential rights inscribed in the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom and individual liberty, including freedom of speech, religion, and assembly and the right to privacy, are fundamental to most people’s expectations for this country, as are equality for all citizens, a just legal system, and a strong economy. Widespread consensus also exists around giving children a strong start in life; ensuring access to basic necessities like health care, food, and housing; and taking care of the planet.
By deliberately building a digital tech system guided by these values, society has an opportunity to advance its interests and future-proof the digital tech system for better outcomes.
Such collective action requires a broad conversation about what kind of society Americans want and how digital technology fits into that vision. To initiate this discussion, I suggest five questions philanthropists, technologists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics, advocates, movement leaders, students, consumers, investors, and everyone else who has a stake in the nation’s future need to start asking—now….(More)”.