It’s not fun living through constant introductions of new dystopic technology. From unsupported bionic implants to augmented reality adverts to The Metaverse, new dystopias are emerging daily. But what's the most dystopic emerging technology?
Reported by Gizmodo, multiple experts can’t decide on what the most dystopic technology in emerging fields are. From workplace surveillance to genetic rewriting, there's simply too many dystopian products in the works.
AR and Metaverse is certainly on the cards
One of the most prolific dystopian tech products in the world is the realisation of The Metaverse. Proposed as a mixed reality platform that will enhance the real world with digitisation, experts have already claimed that the platform will erase any sense of reliable reality.
Despite this, companies like Facebook — now Meta — are still working on creating The Metaverse. As profitability of the main Internet reaches its peak, massive Net companies from the DotCom era are investing in a “second Internet” to exploit.
In the Gizmodo article, Professor of Philosophy at Illinois Institute of Technology, Elizabeth Hildt, explains that these technologies are dangerous. In fact, any “technology that escapes human control and regulation” has the danger to negatively exploit civilians.
Ryan Calo, Professor at the University of Washington, believes that this will only be exacerbated by the continued development of quantum computing. While quantum computers do exist across the world, they're still in infancy, but they are growing in power and capabilities.
“With the possible exception of breaking encryption, the dangers of quantum computing are not new,” they said. “Rather, quantum computing accelerates threats to privacy and autonomy that began in the era of supercomputing.”
Workplace surveillance and AI are huge issues
Outside of the deconstruction of reliable reality, another area that is most definitely dystopic is that of workplace surveillance. Most commonly enforced by Amazon, workplace surveillance tracks workers throughout their work hours with cameras or AI to make sure they're operating at peak efficiency.
Associate Professor at Fordham University, Zephyr Teachiyt, told the outlet that this tech only serves to exploit employees. Instead of treating employees equally, the dystopic technology only serves to turn humans into spreadsheet cattle.
“It upends the already awful employer-employee power dynamics by allowing employers to treat employees like guinea pigs,” they said. “With vast asymmetries of information, knowing what motivates them to work in unhealthy ways and how they can extract more value for less pay. It allows them to weed out dissidents with early warning systems, and destroy solidarity through differential treatment.”
This, in turn, leads to artificial intelligence replacing would-be human employment. AI automation is already reality in some fields, especially after the pandemic. However, as Computer Science professor Michael Littman claims, “the downsides of misapplied technology are too great.”
Dystopic technology rips away boundaries
The emergence of dystopia comes as Big Tech and corporations continually attempt to push the boundaries of what people are comfortable with. As current technology reaches a comfortable peak, profitability plateaus.
There's always more money to be made if the goal posts are tweaked ever-so-slightly. However, after decades of those goal posts being slightly tweaked, some companies are attempting to push them way too far.