May 29, 2024 9:22 PM
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Killer Tech Book Review

by Jessica Boswell, Exhibit City News

 

Mark Stross’s Killer Tech and the Drive to Save Humanity provides advice on embracing technology without becoming dependent upon it, using real-life stories and tips. Stross discusses how humanity is so dependent upon technology that it consumes our time and lives.

In Killer Tech, Stross asserts that we are becoming “users” who are consumed by technology, unaware that we are the ones being used by big tech companies. He says we are constantly being fed information that big tech wants us to see and access. Our every move, data, photo, and action is being traced without protection. Stross suggests that humanity must protect itself from this monitoring.

Stross addresses parents, saying they are doing a disservice to their children by exposing them to too much tech early in life. Children need hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills for the real world. Handing them an iPad or smartphone will limit opportunities to develop these skills. There is a lack of human interaction, conversation skills, and imagination among young people surrounded by technology; this will cause many issues in the future. Stross suggests that everything our children do online is being tracked or monitored; many teens and young adults are perfect targets for online predators. As parents, we must take a stand with our children, set boundaries, and say “no.” We need to educate children on the dangers that lurk online. As a parent, it is your job to monitor usage and activity, set parental controls, check history, or even preview an app or game before letting children use it. Above all else, Stross says that we, as parents, need to advocate for tech platforms to keep our kids safe.

Regarding the adult population in America, Stross says Americans are all about convenience; we don’t think about the consequences this will have on our country. He warns about the recent trend of companies phasing out the need for human workers. Robots are doing manufacturing jobs that were once done by humans, and human cashiers are quickly becoming a thing of the past with self-checkout at stores. Social media and software are now in charge of detecting information about threats or specific topics.

Oftentimes, we are pawns being influenced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are becoming overloaded and addicted to the tech. AI is learning to copy human behavior and is attempting to create a better version of humans. The copies of us often make viewers question whether what they see is real or false. This can be a good thing, but it can be very scary and almost undetectable in many cases. There are endless ways that AI can be used to cause controversy and make people believe what others want them to believe.

Stross’s book also discusses topics like “after the bandwidth,” signal privacy, NTFs, virtual reality, and deepfakes. He provides “Tech Action” at the end of each chapter that contains tips for protection and ways to preserve humanity within the tech space. Stross’s book is easy to understand for those of us who are “non-tech” people. Its eye-opening ideas enlighten the reader- you will not want to put it down. The book provides suggestions for protections that the common person can do easily, and that can help our society. Killer Tech is a must-read for anyone who owns a smartphone, goes online, plays video games, or is a human. With Stross’s book, we can take back control of our tech addiction and reclaim our humanity.

 

This story originally appeared in the Q2 2024 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 18. For original layout or to read the full story, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_q1_2024.

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