You need to know what's on the cutting-edge of technology. Find out what's coming and the unique Warptest POV with just one click on the "Blog" tile.

All posts tagged Disruption

Technological Disruption Is Evolving Beyond Our Control.

Technological Disruption has been on my mind for several months and yesterday it came to boiling point.

I wrote about this first in this post.

Technological Disruption: Truth and Consequences

Working backwards from yesterday we can see that unfettered disruption without testing and validation of the ramifications in the wild have major consequences:

The first death of a pedestrian by autonomous vehicle occurred yesterday in the US and while law enforcement are claiming that the car may not be responsible. Do pedestrians know how to interact with autonomous vehicles in the wild? Simple answer: NO. Especially as these vehicles fundamentally look just the same as your everyday vehicles. Where are the Asimov 3 Laws of Robotics?

Technology disruption - robotsImage courtesy of Microsoft Paint3D – Remix 3D library

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have made us all feel naked and vulnerable due to the massive exploitation of our collective social footprints, our digital identities being taken without knowledge and used to effectively socially engineer us all regarding the 2016 US Elections. Freemium apps mean just this, you are ceding control of your digital identity when you freely share things. Our mobile devices have evolved around this whole precept but we have strong expectations of how that data is used and the transparency behind its use.

Technological disruption - Facebook

A few months ago an acquaintance was talking about how Waze has changed their quiet street where kids can play into a dangerous bypass route that cars speed down, anytime the adjacent major roads are blocked. Speaking to Waze (Google) and their City officials hadn’t made dent in the issue at last check.

AirB&B & Uber along with other sharing economy startups have a huge issue with background checks for hosts, guests, drivers and passengers … and the list goes on, not even counting data breaches like Equifax.

The Warptest POV

So I’m asking again, how do these companies challenge themselves to explore or test the ethical ramifications of their disruptive products before and after they reach the real world? Or is the genie out of the bottle and we need to learn how to live with this modern-day Frankenstein’s Monster.

Video clip from YouTuber iiAFX
This takes a special kind of mindset able to see technology as a product, an ability to perceive its place in different cultures and environments and how it interacts with all kinds of people in different demographics. Ultimately it needs a fearless mindset, a willingness to ensure that as an agent of change, the change is positive and beneficial.

Reliance on legislators is not a solution, whilst the EU are counting down to the deadline for GDPR compliance, other countries will legislate different standards eventually but these will be based on a variety of factors, not least the ability of public servants and politicians to comprehend what technological disruption is, how it works and the impacts we can expect. We can reasonably assume that different countries laws might end up being contradictory or intentionally in conflict. Good luck with that.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – Who watches the Watchmen?

Facebook and others will need to police themselves better but ultimately freemium apps rely on us, our data, our willingness to exist in their virtual worlds. We are their fuel and their monetization.

I am not advocating like some a mass deletion of our Facebook profiles, remember the same company also owns your much loved Instagram and ubiquitous WhatsApp. Still Facebook, Twitter and others need to make this a priority. We are talking about a  fundamental comprehension that symbiosis beats mutually assured destruction.

Ironically, much of what is being suggested online to resolve these things is a symptom of the problem. Issues like this cannot be solved with a hashtag, 14 characters or a snarky meme going viral.

For years we have heard how important DRM Digital Rights Management is for music, movies etc. where is our personal DRM? Can we disrupt Technological Disruption without inhibiting innovation?

These disruptive companies need to be much more transparent about their practices but also about the ethical challenges their technologies face and how they are solving these issues.

So if you want to comment, share ideas on the subject or just chime in.. Feel free.

If you know of a company that has a Chief Ethics Officer or a team that tests the ethical impact of their products then for sure let me know.

One thing I promise, whatever you share.. I will only be using that data for good.

xbox one disruptor

Xbox One: The Eagle Has Landed!

Whilst the Xbox One design and feature list is extensive I can’t help but think that stealing the Surface design would have been a unified brand sort of idea but nonetheless I like the look of the thing a lot.

xbox one

What’s It All About?

For those not in the know the new Xbox has an extensive and varied feature list and is so much more than just a Game box:

    • Skype. Yes finally Skype has arrived on Xbox. Wait for those big screen group Skype video calls with all your henchmen as you plot your next campaign for global domination (or just a call to Mum, Dad and all the family).

…with thanks to Youtube user AustinPowers900 for the clip

  • Integration with TV set-top boxes
  • Live television and Blue-ray DVD’s as well as your friends trending entertainment
  • Yes the UI is brand consistent with a strong hat tip to Metro oops, New Windows UI and Windows Phone’s awesome Zune desktop app.

xbox one ui

  • Kinect remains an integral and strong part of the Xbox experience and those of you who are frequent visitors know that I believe Kinect should be onboard every Microsoft device. By the look of things the Xbox One Kinect is a superhero in its own right.

kinect for xbox one

  • Games are going to be a strong part of Xbox obviously and this section alone deserves its own post. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel when you can read all about it on NeoWin. Suffice it to say that if you are a gamer Xbox One should be making you drool right now.
  • Multiple Operating Systems for management of the Entertainment Center or Games.
  • Hybrid TV and Gaming: it seems that the boffins took a leaf out of SyFy‘s groundbreaking Defiance, a TV Show that combines with a massive online multiplayer gaming experience. Remedy’s Quantum Leak will go one step further by having what happens in the game interact with a TV Show inside the game itself.
  • Snap is essentially multitasking or running more than one app on Xbox One concurrently
  • Voice control: run Entertainment functions with your voice and switch between them.
  • All this and more…

The Warptest POV

All in all Xbox One is a powerhouse in terms of features and technical spec. It is poised to dominate the household entertainment market and Microsoft have addressed user concerns by ensuring that it is not always on or connected to the Internet full-time.

A Twitter and Facebook friend today expressed concern that as usual much of the added value of Xbox One would be lost as it was America-centric i.e. revolving around services like Netflix and Hulu. We got into this discussion and I referenced one of my posts from May 2010 about the need for disruption in the international TV industry; I believe it’s early days but I have high hopes.

We have already seen incredible social Startups like Stevie who are bringing new ideas to the table and Amazon, yes Amazon who have both movie viewing from the cloud but also have founded their own TV studio and are creating their own shows and movies to be viewed online. All this adds up to different facets of disruption but facets that are somewhat more acceptable to the established order than pirate sharing.

amazon studios amazon movies Stevie

IMHO the Xbox One adds up to a potentially disruptive technology in its own right that will stimulate further growth and innovation in the field of entertainment. In its FAQs Microsoft explains that they are working towards solutions that will not limit these services to America only. I’m really interested to see what the Developers out there are going to do with it too.

One thing’s for sure it’s going to be entertaining. Don’t you think?