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  • Thank you professor Jon for sharing.

    I think we will constant have to fight with these challenges.

    I would think I myself who works in the IT firm, would be one of those getting the advantage from technologies, while many others might be harmed or suffer from it.

    Being a person working as a Data Scientist, this question constantly pop up for myself. Is my job ethical? My first Data Scientist job was to reduce the workload of my coworkers. My position’s goal was to reduce manual analysis process and people are losing their jobs because the models now automatically classifying events. The model was trained on the data that was processed by these analysts, and the data they have created throughout the years have helped the models to eliminate their own jobs. For many of us working in IT, our jobs are to replace other people’s job with automation...

    Previously, the companies I worked for care about social aspects of things ( or at least they said so) so at least I feel I was working for companies doing good things, so I was doing something good – even though a huge part of my job were to automate other people’s job, but at least the companies were doing good thing,... right?

    Am I making the world a better place? The truth is technology has widen the gap in between the rich and the poor. The people in the tech firms are getting richer and richer,.I get paid higher than friends my age, who are smart and hard working, but are not in the tech firms.

    I enjoy a lot of aspect of my job- especially because I get to do things that no one else in the companies I worked for have done. I like the feeling that I am learning so many things everyday. Also I have a stable career that I don’t have to worry about money.

    However technology should have a main goal of making humans’ lives better and making the world a better place. Sometimes I question if my job is meaningful. That’s part of the reasons I am taking on two volunteering positions right now- it reduce my guilt of being in the tech firm being one of the privileged person benefiting and getting richer just by staying in the tech field and automate other people’s jobs.

    There’s one project I am currently working on as a volunteer with my fellows in Europe, which is to hopefully trying to utilizing technology to fix human/social problem – that we were hoping to increase people’s well-beings by getting them into fitness such as running, yoga, as well as promoting climate change awareness. With this project I do analyze people’s data, and trying to understand people’s behaviour, and trying to shape people’s behaviour, encouraging users giving behaviour (donating, volunteering..etc), just like what these social medias are doing – changing people’s behaviour, but I am hoping with the knowledge I have, my skill is used towards something good, and is something I hope I can be proud of.

    Honestly even doing “good things” make me feel I am privileged. Working in tech firm I get paid well enough that now I don’t have to worry about money as much as many others and I get to be the “good guy” doing “good things” and be proud of it – not because I am a better person than many others I know but because I am lucky enough to have extra capacity to think about all these other issues.

    Jenny Chun Chi Lien 36 minutes ago

  • I do feel I am very lucky to be born in Taiwan and to be living in Canada! :D 

    China is so big with 20 percent of the human population so I truly hope one day their political system would change!

    I also use Reddit a lot to read information - I find opinions posts on Reddit tend to be more honest and reliable compared to other sites (at least for now) . I don't think any censorship has happened on Reddit yet but Tecent - the Chinese company invested in Reddit is the owner of WeChat, so I think reddit users' worries are very legit!

     

    Jenny Chun Chi Lien September 18, 2020 - 11:30pm

  • And thanks for this, Jenny. As a long-time Reddit lurker (and very occasional contributor) I had not realized that it was funded by Chinese investors, nor did I know about that backlash. Having visited both Taiwan and China I know which system I prefer! Even walking on the street in Beijing last year I was hastily silenced by a local when I (without directly expressing an opinion or offering a critique) alluded to the troubles in Hong Kong. Quite scary. I loved Taiwan - wonderful place, so much to be proud of.

    Jon Dron September 13, 2020 - 2:52pm

  • Thank you very much professor Jon for sharing this topic.

    I stay away from using any technologies developed by companies in China since they are China government controlled - wechat, tiktok, huawei, alibaba...etc.

    I grew up in Taiwan where the government and most Taiwanese citizens value basic human rights especially in the areas of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, LGBTQ equality, women rights...etc. Many people there have been actively fighting against being influenced or potentially controlled by China mainly because they do not want to lose their basic human rights. They know China too well to not trust China. 

    Since 2019, Reddit- the most popular forum and the 5th largest website in the world (right after Google, Youtube, Facebook, and Amazon), is funded by Chinese investors, which resulted in a large backlash as people worried about potentially censorship that can happen in America [1].

    China's controls of technologies and their growing influences these years are scary, but part of me is happy that finally the rest of the world are starting to see the problems and threads China is bringing to all human beings in the entire world- and we have to do something about it, or one day we can lose our freedom right here in Canada as well. 

     

    [1]  "Reddit: Censorship fears spark criticism of Tencent funding reports". BBC News. February 11, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.

     

    Jenny Chun Chi Lien September 12, 2020 - 7:07pm