2 min readTristan Harris: We can still replace toxic tech with humane technology

The following article was written by Vanessa Bates Ramirez and published by Singularity Hub last March 14, 2022.

In this article, Ramirez discusses several statements made by Tristan Harris a former Google design ethicist and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology who said that we can take steps towards a healthy relationship with technology.

Harris asserts that our technologies are advancing way too fast for our brains to catch up and know how to interact with them healthily. He said: “Technology has been undermining humanity’s capacity for wisdom, Not just individually, but our collective ability to operate with the wisdom that we need.”

He goes on to offer some suggestions on how we change the current system, with the capacity to transcend paradigms at the center.

Editor’s Note: The need to put humans at the center of technology has never been more necessary than it is today.

Almost every major technology developed in the last two decades has created new, more complex externalities that are more difficult to address than the original problem the technology wanted to address in the first place.

Gadgets such as cellphones, which were supposed to make communication easier, have fueled a lot of miscommunication due to people’s inability to use them at the right time, and in the right way. Social media, which was supposed to connect people, have enabled people to gang up on individuals who do not share their own beliefs. Lately, social media and internet propaganda have become a vehicle for organizing hate crimes against certain groups of people. Certainly, technology is becoming more and more toxic by the day. How do we stop this trend from continuing?

As Harris says, we must all experience a change in paradigm. We think that aside from utilizing a human-centric approach, technology developers should be planet-centric. After all, what happens to technology affects humans. And whatever affects humans, affects the living planet.

We must remind ourselves of the wondrous work and wisdom of nature embodied by humans and all living beings. While our minds still cannot fully understand this wisdom, it exists nonetheless. Its existence is a compelling reason for us to keep searching for our own personal development that is grounded in our relationship with the planet and every human and living being on earth.

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