The Unintended Consequences of Technology: Second Order Effects

By

Mark Smyth


“Every action has a consequence, and each consequence has another consequence… Be careful when making changes.” – Josh Kaufman

Frank Chen of Andreessen Horowitz spoke at the AI Summit in London in June 2018 on an area he calls “The Autonomy Ecosystem”1. The centrepiece of the presentation is the addition of a new artefact to tomorrow’s world – the self-driving car. The narrative to date around autonomous vehicles has predominately been focused on two significant consequences; human drivers being made redundant by technology and lives being saved through reduction in errors. In many instances, those two points are contrasted almost as cost and benefit. The debate of whether or how we proceed with the revolution of transport appears to rest on a simple net equation. Technology does not live in a vacuum however and the car touches a lot of ecosystems. As we come to understand the implications from the advent of new technologies, we should look towards the farther-reaching consequences and understand the role we have in shaping effects. Continue reading “The Unintended Consequences of Technology: Second Order Effects”

The Unintended Consequences of Technology: Second Order Effects

Why Look At Emerging Technology?

By

Mark Smyth


The Technology Strategy team in PPB was formed in November 2017 and has since worked on a strategic vision for technologies on the horizon, or “2021 vision”. Our team’s contention is simple: the history of emerging technology, particularly that which is characterised as disruptive, means it always warrants a keen eye.

Often waiting for maturity is a more cost-effective approach to using something which another entity will do the groundwork on. The danger, however, lies in how pronounced a disruptive effect someone else could have with that technology in the meantime.

Continue reading “Why Look At Emerging Technology?”

Why Look At Emerging Technology?