SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND DATA
Human autonomy depends on balancing thoughtful policy and technological change
Huge disparities in the distribution of power and control of technology are a potential threat to our autonomy as human beings, Professor Sheila Jasanoff, the founder of the Science, Technology and Society Program at HKS, said in a recent Wiener Conference Call. During her talk, Jasanoff tackled topics ranging from Elon Musk’s takeover bid for Twitter to COVID policy to the pace of technological change. “What does it do to human agency if some people have the capacity to reach 83 million people in one day and the rest of us have no followers or 123 followers?” she said. “I think we have to take the question seriously of whether our technologies are depriving us of the capacity to act as humans.” Jasanoff said she believes as much attention should be paid to developing thoughtful, human-centered policy around technological change as is paid to advancing the technologies themselves. “I personally think that non-artificial intelligence needs a lot more attention before we decide to go whole hog for the artificial kind,” she said.