At his company’s recent F8 conference in San Jose, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a message for developers: Keep building. On Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai will take the stage at the search giant’s I/O event, where he’ll probably make similar exhortations. But amid the calls for more apps and gadgets, a group of tech insiders — some of whom worked closely with Facebook and Google’s top brass — are preaching a different Silicon Valley gospel: Slow down and think about what you’re doing. The Center for Humane Technology, a nonprofit organization formed this year by engineers and investors who profited from the past decade’s social and mobile boom, is having a moment, as concerns over the reach, power and influence of tech grow. The problems, they say, go beyond headlines about data leaks, password breaches and election interference. Tech giants like Facebook and Google have gained sway over billions of people through subtle Pavlovian techniques that keep them coming back for more. The examples stare at you from your smartphone’s home screen: •The red badge on Facebook’s app that signals a posted comment or message. •YouTube and Netflix videos that automatically cue up to play one after the other…. Read full this story
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