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Marketplace Morning Report

The Valley’s Problem with Empathy

Kai Ryssdal and Adhiti Bandlamudi Dec 5, 2016
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In a world of algorithms and technological processes, the customer at the end of that process is sometimes reduced to a number or statistic.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The tech giants of Silicon Valley constantly look for the next move that changes the way we live. And while these advancements are groundbreaking, it can shift a system that already existed, affecting the jobs and livelihoods of people embedded in that system. In a world of algorithms and technological processes, the customer at the end of that process is sometimes reduced to a number or statistic. 

Om Malik, a tech writer for The New Yorker and a partner at True Ventures, wrote an article in The New Yorker titled “Silicon Valley Has An Empathy Vacuum“.

On Facebook’s Fake News:

You know, thinking about everything from growth perspective, engagement perspective, not from a human perspective. They don’t quite understand how their platform can have a negative impact. Everybody just kind of assumes— there is a set way of thinking about the impact of technology and there is very… you know, difficult-to-find alternatives.

On what we can do about this problem: 

The first thing we could do is actually listen better. Forget the filter bubbles, we should just listen better. And the second thing we could do is: can we bring along all the industries, which we are impacting into the future with us. And if we cannot, can we retrain some of the people and bring them along. Unless we think about these things, I don’t think we can go anywhere.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.

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