Why do people demonize the media

Digital fear: We harm ourselves when we demonize technology

A joke from the tech nerd scene goes like this: The factory of the future will have two employees. A human and a dog. The job of humans is to feed the dog. The dog's job is to keep humans from touching computers.

The joke reminds us that skepticism and distrust of machines are widespread. But also because people and their ability to make the right decisions are often overrated.

People are irrational

Need some examples? Two American economists analyzed court cases in a state and found that judges who studied at well-known regional universities gave particularly harsh judgments if their football team had previously lost a game. Which accordingly affected disproportionately black defendants.

Another study found that in a Florida school district that is largely populated by minority people, an average of 56 percent of children in programs for the gifted were white. The selection was made by parent representatives and teachers. Then the selection process was automated, and the result of a non-verbal IQ test was decisive. Thereafter, 80 percent more African Americans and 130 percent more Hispanic Americans were enrolled in the programs than before.

A random selection of examples? Maybe. But irrationality and bias can play a role in any human decision.

Man and machine

The relationship between man and machine is an old topic with tremendous current relevance. The time we are completely without access to or contact with technology is steadily decreasing. There are screens, sensors, chips everywhere. Every day we naturally benefit from computer-generated decisions that make the best offers and services available on the internet.