It is clear that technology is changing the way we live, work and thinks, but it is, in itself, insensitive to the human. Simple means in the service of ends that it obviously does not fix itself. See the robots: caring assistants or killer robots and other autonomous combat drones depending on how they are programmed and the goals they are intended for.
- Connecting people to each other via platforms makes them better? More open to others, more supportive? More intelligent?
- Does the reduction of inequalities lead to a trend increase in digitization? Is digital technology creating jobs and value for the most vulnerable, and can it facilitate their entry or retention in the labor market?
- Do the big players in Tech and Digital have a social responsibility in the service of the common good? Or are they just “pure players” of a game whose rule is the law of the strongest? At the end of May, on the eve of the VivaTech show, the “Tech for Good” summit was held at the Elysée, during which the digital giants made societal commitments, particularly in the area of education and training. a large number to digital. Will sincere and durable? Announcement effects? How to “redeem” after scandals resounding like Cambridge Analytica?
That technology must be a source of progress made by and for man is a postulate that has been expressed since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Should the machine release Men or enslave them? Relieving their daily lives and improving their living and working conditions or, on the contrary, directing them and “reducing” them (instead of “increasing” them), as Chaplin, for example, brilliantly shows in Les Temps Modernes? An old question, then, but one of redoubled importance at the time of the digitalization of the world, the robotization of the economy and the worries that the AI poses for the future of humanity.
The era of technology raises indeed many questions.
I do not believe in the fantasy of the great replacement of man by the machine. The real question is this: how do you ensure that the Tech responds to the common good, the sense of social well-being and economic prosperity? And one of the most crucial issues is to ensure that the preoccupying power of control of men that Tech allows does not prevail over its “liberating” promises, in the fields of education and knowledge, science and technology. medicine, etc.
To advocate for a technology that protects people is a burning necessity. In packing the word of Rabelais, one could say: “Digital without consciousness is only ruined of the soul”. A “humanistic” technology must also be at the service of equal opportunities, which is not intrinsically.
Digital technology must be supportive, that is to say, be profitable to the most fragile. An illustration of “inclusive” use of the technological tool: the Simplon network and its digital training program for refugees, which combines learning the French language with the teaching of computer programming in order to facilitate the integration of refugees in the digital professions.
In general, the human must have the last word and be at the heart of business transformation strategies. The example of cybersecurity, a very sharp subject that uses very complex technologies, illustrates this. In terms of cybersecurity, the company can control this issue only if trust, the culture of collaboration allow men to adopt the right reflexes to guard against the cyber threat.
The social role of the company, or its reasion detre, which is much talked about today, is in my view inseparable from a reflection on the social role of technology. And it is a primary responsibility of companies as users of technology products and services to make technology a tool for the well-being of the greatest number and the freedom of people.
And as the robotics specialist Laurence Devillers says: ” You have to know what you do and what you want to do, it’s not the machine that has to make choices for society, ‘Man who must decide what it will bring him. ‘ It’s up to us to make the right choices, for today and tomorrow.