Michael Mercier, President of Screen Education, today delivered the Common Hour lecture to the Freshman class of Hiram College in Hiram, OH.
The lecture, titled "What Will Be Your Role In Preventing Abuses of Our Global Wireless Network?", sought to get students to think about the massive cultural changes that will continue to take place as we layer on top of our current wireless network a new wave of very advanced technologies, to be ever vigilant of the unintended negative consequences and intended malevolent uses of these new technologies, and to take an activist approach to ensuring that these things are kept in check. A full description of the lecture appears below.
A decade after deploying an amazing global wireless information network some problems are emerging: apps that are engineered to be addictive are sapping our human potential, tech providers are violating our free speech and privacy rights, we encounter a toxic, divided online social and political environment, and governments are creating surveillance systems that limit individual freedom. Some of these problems impact social classes disproportionately. As new technologies are layered on top of this global wireless network --- AI, IoT, drones, robots, self-driving cars, sensors, and neural interfaces --- we can expect additional problems to emerge. A key question of our time will be, “How do we maintain the advantages this network affords us, while mitigating its problems?”. Michael Mercier, President of Screen Education, will ask you to consider what you as an individual can do to protect yourself, your community, and society at large.