Who is the boss here? 

 1 November 2021

We are at a historic crossroads: Who will be the boss in the future? The technology or us? In my opinion, there are 2 options.

1) In the future, we will use technology as a tool to solve our social, environmental and everyday challenges.

2) We are becoming more and more lulled into filter bubbles optimized by algorithms, allowing ourselves to be influenced by them right down to our worldview and our behavior, and are being used, along with our data, for profit through surveillance.

In my impulse lecture "Future Mindset" I recently outlined a day from option 2:

"The smart implant in the back of your right hand wakes you up at the perfect time for your sleep rhythm. Smartphones no longer exist. And unfortunately no snooze function either, the implant forces you to get up. You get ready for the day and climb into the back of one of the ever-present autonomous vehicles. The ride is free for you, but your biometric data is captured instantly through the seat. This data is used to display advertising tailored to you throughout the ride. You don't even have to order anything; the system automatically recognizes your impulse to buy based on your reaction and orders for you independently, same-day delivery included.

You continue to the boardwalk and meet up with an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. You walk along the promenade and talk about good old times. Once again you notice how spotless the paths are here. Not the smallest piece of garbage is lying around anywhere. No graffiti, no dog poop. But it's no wonder, because the public space is completely video-monitored and any misconduct is immediately and automatically punished. You say goodbye to your friend and stroll into the office.

Your smart implant registers that your energy level is not yet high enough to perform well at work today and automatically activates a power playlist with energetic beats. When you arrive at your desk, the time tracking bot starts measuring your time, automatically subtracting breaks and distractions. But then you suddenly get this weird feeling. You feel so at the mercy of all the things going on here, you can hardly make any decisions yourself, and it annoys you that you no longer have any privacy. Of course, your smart implant registers this immediately and changes the playlist to your favorite tracks, which distracts you and immediately brings you to other thoughts.

A short time later, the implant begins to glow red. You tear your eyes away because you know what that means: your social score, your social credit rating, has just dropped to the point where you've slipped down a level. That means no more long-distance travel, curfew, restricted account, access restrictions. While you're still drenched in sweat thinking about what the reason could be, it's already being transmitted via Messenger: You carelessly ran a red light on the street today. In addition, your emotional and physical behavior recorded during the walk - neuroscans, pulse, gestures, facial expressions, walking speed, etc. - gives you an 87 percent probability of committing a crime within the next six months."

If that's the future, I'd rather have option 1. But much of what's outlined is already in place today in basic outlines. Whether social scoring, surveillance, priming, advertising algorithms ...

The others will do it

Our dilemma: How can we avoid this? Not much comes from politics - it is far too busy maintaining the system. And the things that they try to regulate have no effect on evil, while at the same time they bully everyone else - the GDPR sends its regards. Corporations also feel more committed to shareholder value than to people - be they customers or employees. That leaves only us. Every single one of us. The self-employed. SMEs. Parents. Nerds. Advisors. Caregivers. Employee. Human. Everyone in themselves, at home, in the environment, in the context of colleagues. Step by step into a positive future. Because changes start small - with us!