Technocultural Pluralism

A "Clash of Civilizations" in Technology?

Published in: AIES '20: Proceedings of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, pages 132–137 (February 2020). doi: 10.1145/3375627.3375834

Posted on RAND.org on March 10, 2021

by Osonde A. Osoba

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At the end of the Cold War, the renowned political scientist, Samuel Huntington, argued that future conflicts were more likely to stem from cultural frictions—ideologies, social norms, and political systems—rather than political or economic frictions. Huntington focused his concern on the future of geopolitics in a rapidly shrinking world. This paper argues that a similar dynamic is at play in the interaction of technology cultures. We emphasize the role of culture in the evolution of technology and identify the particular role that culture (esp. privacy culture) plays in the development of AI/ML technologies. Then we examine some implications that this perspective brings to the fore.

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