#mindfultech news of the week: Nov 8, 2018 📰

Joy Buolamwini of the Algorithmic Justice League | Photo: TED Talks

Joy Buolamwini of the Algorithmic Justice League | Photo: TED Talks


If I was your teacher, today I would assign you to read a series of articles about the personal hypocrisy of Silicon Valley and screen time, insist that you watch a spoken word video about AI, and I would give you extra credit for doing a deep dive into everything else we cover this week.

But since I am not your teacher (and you are very busy) I can only hope that we’ve presented some valuable information here that will inspire you to want to learn more. Class is in session!


Must read! NYT series on the hypocrisy of silicon valley

If you haven’t had the time to fully read the New York Times series on the disparities that many Silicon Valley denizens have created––and continue to perpetuate with their own personal choices––make the time now. It should bother us all that the people creating the technology that is pervasive in our own lives are severely limiting screen time in their own homes, and that some don’t want their own children to see screens. Even worse, the divide between the poor and wealthy is being hugely perpetuated by the new digital divide (which is not at all what you think it is.) Please: read this series.

One of our core operating values is to narrow the digital divide, and this series makes it clear that more technology in the hands of more people is not the answer. It’s complex, but so important.

mood manipulation

In ‘Happy With 20% Chance of Sadness’ Scientific American discusses the potential and pitfall of linking technology to human emotion. Anytime someone tells me they want to surprise or delight their customer, I shudder. Here at Mindful Technology, we’re not into any kind of emotional manipulation (although we do see room for helping people learn to control their own moods when and where they want to.) To that end, I’m trying to figure out how I feel about Panasonic’s experimental Kasa Lights, which only glow when the beholder is calm and gentle. I do know that I like KYŌ app, which gives users a chance for self reflection, which is why we interviewed them here.


Also in #mindfultech news this week . . .


How did we not know about the Algorithmic Justice League before now?! Count us as the latest superfans of Joy Buolamwini and her work, which includes the AJL and her project Gender Shades. Watch her moving spoken word performance called, “AI, Ain’t I a Woman?” below. It’s powerful and important and also beautiful and maddening.


A lot of people have asked us about how they can tame tech in their own personal lives, and we’re cooking up a free program for you in the New Year. Make sure you’re on our newsletter list to get notified.

Anything else we should be talking about? Drop us a line, or shoutout on Twitter. More news next week.



ps Seriously, watch this video …


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