Two Problems With Technology


John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of WIRED magazine recently argued that there are two problems emerging in technology.

Class 1 problems are when tech doesn’t work perfectly. Think of code glitches, the wheels are falling off, expensive repairs, and the like. Market forces typically solve these kinds of problems over the course of a few years.

Class 2 problems, however, are more insidious. They arise when technology works too well. 

A good example is facial recognition software. “What if the system was infallible in recognizing a person from just their face?” Kelly asks. “There would be no escaping it, no way to duck out in public. You could be perfectly tracked …. not only by the public but by advertisers and governments. ‘Being in public’ would come to have a different meaning than it does now.” 

To be clear, Kelly is no Luddite. But he does realize how limited our will and our abilities are to think through the implications of technology. Christians who understand the fall, not to mention human history, should join Kelly in this realization. 

Our only real grounding for ethics, which grounds our ability to determine the implications of technology, is if God made the world, and us in His Image.



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