Chapter 8: Manifesto
For this week’s reading, I am responding to Artful Design Principle 8.5: “Technology is Neither Good Nor Bad; Nor is it Neutral”, whereby technology is created by humans and used by humans, thus cannot be neutral, and create consequences that shape our lives. In order to design and judge technology in a moral framework we need a proper understanding of the consequences of the design choices made.
Consequences are hard to predict. For example, I’m not sure the founders of TikTok predicted that down the line people would use the audio/video platform to disburse false information that goes unchecked, where children and teens and even adults are susceptible to receive wrong information. The nature of how easy it might be to go viral has a lot of benefits, a lot of consequences and definitely shapes how humans pursue success and live their life. But we know this now, since this is where things landed. In general, policy is always a delayed application of morality and judgment going into effect after these consequences and behaviors are more studied years later. Furthermore research in the effects of technology will always take years and money to build any usable data to reference.
In addition to the topic of morality I’d like to respond to some points on page 410: “Morality cannot be mandated, it must come from within the individual.” For my final project I struggled a lot coming up with ideas, because I am really interested in making a tool to help people do good for themselves by imbuing it into the essence of my design, while having to keep it simple. Although I don’t think it’s realistic to execute the “Plant Medicine Navigation Simulator” idea now, I do think some form of it would be a useful self check-in tool for people who find themselves in a situation where they need to prep for the experience in order to not only practice navigating their emotions in a healthy way, but to get the most value out of the experience. A simple question-answer prompt for self check-in and interactive audiovisual design for feedback allows the user freedom to control their journey–the choices are not mandated, they come from within the individual.
It seems hard to convince people to be moral. We can do our best by weaving morality into the design of technology, but it can be susceptible to capitalism and corrupt laws, thus creating a battleground for the encouragement for people to be moral and the desperate need for money.