Spilling the Téa 15-1-24: Tech bros are the absolute worst

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I’ve always been an advocate for technology, often defending its advancements and the people behind it. But there’s a troubling trend among certain tech enthusiasts, particularly the so-called “Tech Bros.” These individuals, driven by a libertarian, anarcho-capitalist mindset, believe they can solve every problem with an app or breakthrough technology, often disregarding the ethical and legal frameworks that exist for good reasons.

One of the most concerning aspects is their approach to AI and its applications. For instance, the creation of AI girlfriends or therapists without proper oversight is not only unethical but also potentially harmful. Psychology and law are regulated professions for a reason; they require rigorous training, licensure, and adherence to ethical guidelines to protect individuals from harm. Yet, these tech enthusiasts think they can bypass these regulations, ignoring the lessons learned from history about the dangers of unregulated practices.

The internet has amplified the voices of fringe groups, allowing them to gain undue influence. This phenomenon isn’t new; fringe elements have always existed, but the internet has poured jet fuel on their reach and impact. These groups often exploit the naivety and idealism of college students or those new to activism, misrepresenting their views as mainstream. The far-right, for instance, frequently targets college students or individuals with extreme views to paint a distorted picture of broader ideological movements.

The problem extends to how these tech enthusiasts view regulation. They see it as a hindrance rather than a necessary safeguard. They argue that innovation should not be stifled by bureaucracy, but this overlooks the fundamental purpose of regulation: to prevent harm and ensure ethical standards. For example, the use of AI in content moderation or therapeutic settings needs strict oversight to avoid unintended consequences.

Moreover, the belief that creating disruptive technologies without considering their societal impact is inherently good is misguided. Technologies like sex robots or AI companions may have therapeutic applications, but they also pose significant ethical dilemmas. They can normalize harmful behaviors or dehumanize individuals, and without proper regulation, the negative impacts can far outweigh the benefits.

This mindset is not limited to AI but extends to various technological advancements. The vaping industry, for instance, has faced similar challenges. Regulations are necessary to ensure public health and safety, yet there’s a vocal minority that resists any form of oversight, arguing that it infringes on personal freedoms. This libertarian view fails to recognize that living in a society means balancing individual freedoms with collective well-being.

The solution lies in robust regulation and oversight. Just as we regulate medicine, law, and other professions, we must regulate technology, especially AI. This includes imposing fines and penalties for non-compliance and ensuring that ethical standards are met. The mere presence of a law can deter many from engaging in harmful practices, and strict enforcement can address those who choose to disregard it.

In conclusion, while technology has the potential to bring about significant positive change, it must be developed and implemented responsibly. The Tech Bros’ disregard for regulation and ethical considerations poses a serious risk to society. We need to prioritize creating a legal framework that ensures technology serves the public good, not just the interests of a few. It’s time to move beyond the naive belief that technology alone can solve all problems and recognize the importance of ethical oversight and regulation in guiding its development.