The Question Concerning Technology, Revisited: The Dark Side of a Big Data World
Abstract. The relationship between the American public and private sectors is a complex adaptive system whose parameters have been transformed through the privatization of government and rapid technological change. Developing themes from Martin Heidegger’s 1954 essay by the same title to frame 21st century challenges, we will explore the dark side to Silicon Valley’s mantra of moving fast and breaking things, which unthinkingly elevated consumers over citizens, with damaging consequences for electoral processes and democracy’s public square. We will also examine the ways in which legal government attempts to exploit the Internet Revolution to enhance American national security had unintended negative consequences. The aim is to provide a framework for brainstorming potential responses to looming ethical challenges, both for the individual data scientist and for the companies or government who employs them.