Video: Here Is Silicon Valley’s Idea Of What Social Evolution Should Look Like

Published on May 18, 2018

How do you feel about being ‘engineered’? Because that’s the plan.

Not once in their nine-minute video was the word ‘privacy’ mentioned.

Not. Once.

Google isn’t just about having a handy way to look up obscure facts, or a free email service, or even knowing the best path from A to B.

Even the fact that Google Assistant can interact in a phone call to book an appointment is not the Big story.

It has gone a long way from recommending the best wine pairing, or where you might be able to get a haircut after 8 pm.

Next up on the horizon isn’t just an existing product they might recommend for you, but a custom-printed made-to-order product that didn’t even exist until it decided you needed it.

Spooky? We’ve not even gotten to the really spooky stuff yet. Remember all those movies from the 80’s and 90’s where Computers would rise up and overthrow us? It’s almost the opposite.

Humanity is slipping out of the driver’s seat and handing controls over to the computer. Here’s their grand plan for ‘nudging’ us to be the kind of people we ‘ought’ to be.

(Apologies for the watermark on the video.)

They are trying to push you in the directions they think you should go.

After opening with some explanation about the history of evolutionary theory, it jumps into the meat of it.

The video was made in late 2016 by Nick Foster, the head of design at X (formerly Google X) and a co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory. The video, shared internally within Google, imagines a future of total data collection, where Google helps nudge users into alignment with their goals, custom-prints personalized devices to collect more data, and even guides the behavior of entire populations to solve global problems like poverty and disease.

“We understand if this is disturbing — it is designed to be. This is a thought-experiment by the Design team from years ago that uses a technique known as ‘speculative design’ to explore uncomfortable ideas and concepts in order to provoke discussion and debate. It’s not related to any current or future products.”


“User-centered design principles have dominated the world of computing for many decades, but what if we looked at things a little differently? What if the ledger could be given a volition or purpose rather than simply acting as a historical reference? What if we focused on creating a richer ledger by introducing more sources of information? What if we thought of ourselves not as the owners of this information, but as custodians, transient carriers, or caretakers?”

The so-called ledger of our device use — the data on our “actions, decisions, preferences, movement, and relationships” — is something that could conceivably be passed on to other users much as genetic information is passed on through the generations, Foster says.
Source: The Verge

Social media has already shown itself so faithful with our information…
…what could possibly go wrong?

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