Silicon Prison – How Technology is building a sanitised society – SASCon BETA 2014

SAScon BETA 2014

Barry Adams opens up with insight into the consumer and their subconscious mind. Highlighting that our subconscious mind makes the decision first. Our conscious mind clams credit after. The exposure by brands effects our preference before we are even aware. Every time you search on Google, Google exposes results that subconsciously absorbed within our minds. The more we see it, the more we like it and there is where Google holds greater power.

Barry moves through different aspects that affect our consumer habits. Environment for example can influence the way we think, talk, eat and spend. He highlights for example, how exposure to pictures of libraries makes you speak in quieter tones. When you eat in self-service restaurants and you smell cleaning products, you keep your own table tidier. This leads to question, do we make conscious decisions? Can we be made accountable for our decisions? Are we really in control?

Sensors are everywhere, we are consistently being measured, monitored and data-mined. We are now in a world where wearable tech has transformed our bodies into data points. From blood pressure to heart rate, we provide more accessible data from our bodies than ever before. The same goes for embedded tech, the tech that we wear within our clothes such as Google Glass. There is no escape from this data monitoring, even within the domestic environment. However, the issues isn’t that we are being measured consistently, it is what happens to the data once it has been extracted and how this changes our behaviour

This data generated is not off limits. Just because it is extracted from us does not mean it is ours. It is passed on and used to change our behaviour For example, Barry highlights how sensors measure everything you do and consume and in return ‘Nudges’ to alter your behaviour positively. Do we eat healthily? Are we drinking healthily? Are we active enough? The data extracted from our habits will alter these in  a ‘positive’ nudge.

As our behaviour and our minds are subconsciously monitored, who is responsible for all the ‘bad’ behaviour of the consumer? Barry highlights the burden of bad behaviour is rested upon the consumer, it is down to our decision to ignore the efforts of brand marketing trying to influence us and our bad habits.Yet if we don’t share our data and we don’t allow ourselves to be influenced, does this mean we really have something to hide?

It seems things are heading into a future where what we want can actively be changed, Barry states our behaviour is entirely open to manipulation otherwise known as Behavioural Conditioning. We must obey and it appears that we will.