Ethics in the age of data capitalism
Has user-centred design dragged us to the brink of catastrophe? And if so, do we need a First Things First for the digital world?
Steve Jobs once said that the computer is ‘a bicycle for our minds’, a tool that amplifies human imagination and agency. Such utopian sentiments about technology are becoming rare in 2019. More common are reflections on tech’s power to disempower, manipulate and oppress its users. If we want to align technology with humanity’s best interests, recognising potential dystopias is just the first stage. Designers have a specific role to play in shaping our future, and many practitioners have already started to recognise the unique responsibility they have in addressing these issues.
John Ridpath, writer, technologist, London
Read the full version in Eye no. 99 vol. 25, 2019
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.