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Playlist "Chaos Communication Camp 2023"

Digital tech fictions as replacement for social and political change?

Rainer Rehak and Rike

The climate catastrophe is imminent and global injustice is rising. Now a lot of new digital tech (AI, blockchain, big data, quantum computing) is supposed to help the transition to a sustainable society. Although some of them can actually help with parts of the transition, they are usually discussed not as tools to assist the broader societal change (economic, legal, social, political changes) but as replacement for the broader societal change. In effect they act as "change placebos" resulting in "placebo change", meaning no change at all.

Giving concrete examples, this talk wants to explain 1) in which ways technological developents are misused as diversion from the necessary change and 2) the necessity to design concrete technical use cases including their conditions and limitations in order to create a fruitful debate for sustainability assisting technologies and their actually helpful implementations.