Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Robotic Nation (2) Robots in 2015

Robotic Nation (1)

2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember

Stopping the innocent from pleading guilty: Can brain-based recognition detection tests help?

#19: Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement

#20: Shape-shifting claytronics: wild future here by 2020, experts say


ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
Martine Rothblatt


comments

Christian K. Nordtomme on 'Superintelligences Are Already Out There!' (Dec 21, 2014)

AmbassadorZot on '#22: Ray Kurzweil on Rationality and the Moral Considerability of Intelligent Machines' (Dec 20, 2014)

reddibrek on 'Currency Multiplicity: Social Economic Networks' (Dec 20, 2014)

pansi4 on 'The Slut Shaming, Sex-Negative Message in the Christmas Story: It's Worth a Family Conversation' (Dec 20, 2014)

Vigrith on 'Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014' (Dec 20, 2014)

ericscoles on 'The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you' (Dec 20, 2014)

instamatic on 'Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?' (Dec 19, 2014)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Review of Michio Kaku’s, Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Dec 15, 2014
(10126) Hits
(0) Comments

2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember
Dec 22, 2014
(9526) Hits
(0) Comments

What Will Life Be Like Inside A Computer?
Dec 7, 2014
(8513) Hits
(0) Comments

Bitcoin and Science: DNA is the Original Decentralized System
Nov 24, 2014
(8269) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Rights > Privacy > Economic > Staff > Marcelo Rinesi

Print Email permalink (1) Comments (3100) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


The Soft Tyranny of Data-Driven Expectations


Marcelo Rinesi
By Marcelo Rinesi
Ethical Technology

Posted: Nov 1, 2012

I fear insurance. To be precise, I fear the paradoxical risks of ubiquitous data-driven “insurance-ization.”

We are just beginning to deal with the simultaneous onslaught of exponentially growing amounts of biomedical data, dirt-cheap analytical processes, and powerful financial pressures across all industries. As previously hidden health risks in specific individuals become to become visible even from before their birth, insurance providers, governments, and people must deal with issues of adverse selection and uninsurable risk.


My concern is that there isn’t anything in this model that restricts it to healthcare as such. Consider employment. To be sure, employers have always sought reassuring signals in the form of Harvard degrees and clean rap sheets, and as biological, social, and work performance features become even more widely and cheaply available, it will be impossible to prevent this data from being gathered, models of “work performance based on Facebook friending patterns” being developed, and then…

Well, the bottom line will be an increased pressure for homogeneity. After all, most businesses are fiduciarily required to reject avoidable risks, and if industry standard human resource analytics say that people with less than two new Facebook friends each week are less productive on average… It won’t be a breach of any existing anti-discrimination laws, and yet it will end up being an homogenizing pressure.

Never mind that this kind of models are seldom worth much, if at all. The value of a standard, business- and politics-wise, lies more on it being an standard than on whathever predictive value it might have. A case in point — the unexplainable existence of a no-fly list of people “too much a terrorist” to fly and yet “not enough of a terrorist” to arrest.

There is much research dedicated to signaling phenomena; roughly speaking, those things organisms do (like getting into the “right clubs”, or carrying around a big, cumbersome feather tail) not due to their usefulness, but to show to others that they can, and hence suggest other presumably related qualities. This leads to often subtle dances of signals and countersignals, deceit and traps, which is a big part of our biological and social life.

I fear, however, the data-driven expansion of this signaling behavior to a much larger area of our lives. Constantly tailoring your online behavior (and what behavior is nowadays purely offline?) to convince vague distributed entities that you are what an average-of-averages HR department would describe as normal is dispiriting enough when those entities are people; sleepless, tireless digital algorithms — if an already present sense of risk-aversion leverages itself on quantified models for the hiring and promoting of people — will be a serious setback to our quality of life.


Marcelo Rinesi is the Assistant Director of the IEET. He is also a Data Analyst at Zauber.
Print Email permalink (1) Comments (3101) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


Fear not! Sure enough data-mining technologies and techniques by employers and insurers will, and do, lead to the scrutiny you fear, even now. However, transparency works both ways, and so too accountability?

In an evolving global social community, it will thus become immediately transparent that these HR policies promote employment of drone ants for factories, creative pragmatists for R&D, and Self-serving psycho’s for CEO’s?
This greater transparency will provide yet greater accountability, scrutiny and legislation for equality, act against social and biological prejudice?

I do share your concerns where healthcare insurance scrutiny is concerned, yet it takes only days for legislation to be installed to overturn unfair discrimination, IF? that is what society, peoples and democracy demands?

I envisage that data-mining, info sharing, transparency, and accountability will promote ebb and flow, (push & shove), of global social evolution and further democratic progress, ultimately?





YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: IEET Readers are split on Aspergers Question

Previous entry: How Much Less Coal Must Be Burned to Slow Climate Change?

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376