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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Big Tech's 'Innovations' That Aren't

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The modern smartphone, the search engine, and the digital social network were invented more than a decade ago. What passes for innovation by Big Tech today isn't fundamentally new products or new services, but ever more sophisticated exploitation of people.

To monetize older innovations, the dominant platforms employ behavioral scientists to develop interface designs that keep users online as much as possible. Big Tech calls it "engagement." Another word would be addiction.

What "innovation" remains in this space is innovation to keep the treadmill running, longer and faster, drawing more data from users to bombard us with more ads for more stuff.

Americans shouldn't settle for this stagnation. It's time we demanded more of Big Tech than it demands of us.

From The Wall Street Journal
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