Is Technology Harming Poorer Communities?

As time marches on, technology advances.  These advancements are meant to provide improvements to the condition of life for everyone. For example, automation makes manufacturing faster and more efficient. Computers and algorithms make sorting millions of data points as simple as the click of a button.  However, there may be a downside to technology that many people might not be aware of. Artificial Intelligence may be very advanced, but it does not yet have the strengths that people get from human interactions.

According to Gizmodo.com, the book “Automating Inequality: How High Tech Tools, Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” is exploring how technology affects poor people.

“What the system did was explicitly sever the link between local and caseworkers and the district that they served,” said Virginia Eubanks, author of the book, in an interview with Gizmodo. “The result was [a rise in] denials of benefits for basic human rights like food and medical care.”

In her examination, Eubanks brought up an examination of how statistics collected in during a case in Pittsburg determined abuse or neglect in a household were discriminating against the poor. She claims that the lower incomes families are “over surveils” because they are the one who uses public programs such as welfare, food stamp, etc. Most of the data collected used by the city come from those programs, and there, unfairly assume abuse and negligence are more common in low-income households.

Sacramento had also become more technologically advanced in the recent years. According to an article written by the Los Angeles Time in 2015, Silicon Valley was having increasing present in the Capitol. Even though they were bringing new technologies to Sacramento, they were also bringing lobbyist. For example, Uber and Lyft spent nearly half a million dollar in 2013 lobbying bills that would regulate them like the taxi industry. While technology is making life easier for some, it may also be increasing hardships for others.