I was talking to someone recently about Facebook and responsible technology. More specifically, what led to Facebook being weaponized for all sorts of bad things.
Besides the specifics of the Facebook situation, I believe it comes down to a few broader factors.
Software is different than most technology. We need to recognize software has almost unlimited surface area - which explains how it’s “eating the world”. Software, especially internet software, has almost infinite leverage. A piece of code written in a basement can produce real world outcomes across the globe.
Second, there are no real regulations on what is allowed vs not. It was hard to think of the potential of internet software, let alone how to prevent any bad actors.
Third, ‘irresponsible’ progress continues to be celebrated. Whether it’s blitzscaling, ignoring local laws, or simply moving fast and breaking things - the technology industry wears irresponsibility as a badge of honor. Without any regulation, decisions are made with a singular lens.
I think we’re only starting to see the downsides of not building software responsibly, and there doesn’t seem to be a widely held solution yet.