“Deep cracks have been appearing in the Ayn Rand-inspired radical individualism on which the Silicon Valley ethos was founded. Amongst the many paradigm shifts Covid-19 is triggering is an end to the era of solipsism. In its place, a return to the collective is underway, born from the recognition of how intimately intertwined our planet’s ecosystems are. In this new age, old models of thinking, designing, and coding no longer fit.
Paving the way for new frameworks is London-based IF, a technology studio founded in 2016 in pursuit of building a more ethical information society. Specializing in the practical application of data and AI ethics, IF’s researchers, technologists and designers produce toolkits, patterns catalogs and other resources that provide an alternative to the convoluted Ts and Cs and opaque data use policies that have long been entrenched as the status quo.
One of their latest projects takes the form of a manifesto: Society-Centered Design, a vision for data ethics that goes beyond the individualism of ‘human-centered design’ to consider the wider implications of data at a societal level. Based on values such as compassion, representation and the civic commons, Society-Centered Design outlines an alternative vision to the status quo; one in which data can be used to empower rather than exploit.”