“Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty” is an emotional piece by Eric Meyer who lost his daughter earlier in the year and was reminded of his painful loss by what is seemingly a thoughtless Facebook product feature. It was an attempt by Facebook to be more human instead of being a utility, but in the end it inadvertently ended up upsetting Eric and others.
It was a rude and very real reminder that, no matter how well-intentioned, our software-enabled society is far from being empathetic and understanding of human reality. Facebook, which as a company serves 1.25 billion people, wants to be empathetic. And so do others like them. The question is how, and how fast, can we make software take on empathetic qualities, especially as we continue to pray at the altar of “growth at any cost.” Continue reading “Empathy isn’t a corporate slogan”