Autumn 2019

Ethics in the age of data capitalism

John Ridpath
Front matter

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.


Top. Michael Kirkham / Heart. 

John Ridpath, writer, technologist, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 99 vol. 25, 2019


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