- Dell’s Chief Marketing Officer Allison Dew says there needs to be a broader and deeper conversation around the impact of technology that goes beyond debates that impact social media.
- Dew said not enough attention has been given to both positive contributions of technology in such areas as health care and medicine.
- On the other hand, she said, there’s also a pressing need to address the long-term consequences of new technologies such as AI.
- “I’m not one who believes that robots are going to come and shoot us all,” Dew told Business Insider. “But tasks are getting automated. If we’re not having a real conversation about what does that mean for the people whose jobs are being displaced, that’s a problem.”
DAVOS, Switzerland – Dell was a cool tech company during the dot-com boom 20 years ago when its “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” ad turned the PC maker into a pop-culture icon.
The enterprise tech powerhouse has a stodgier image nowadays, and a notably less visible role in today’s major tech conversations. Dell Chief Marketing Officer Allison Dew wants to change that.
At a time when the discussions are focused mainly on such issues as privacy, fake news, and the negative impact of social media and the internet, Dew says there is a pressing need to broaden the conversation around technology.
“Is tech good or is tech bad? It’s both. It depends on how you use it,” she told Business Insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I think we’re often having the wrong conversation about technology,” she said. “We’re too focused only on the media component and we don’t enough about some other truly life-changing things technology is enabling.”
She said “too much of the conversation about technology is dominated by those few companies that are taking up a disproportionate” amount of the debates,
Dew did not mention Facebook by name, though she was clearly referring to social media and internet giants. Yes, issues related to fake news and privacy are important and “threaten our democracy,” she said.
“But there’s this whole other conversation over here around what technology is doing,” she said.
She cited the way technology has led to breakthroughs in healthcare and medicine. On the other hand, Dew said, there was also a need to talk about the way technology, such as new tools like artificial intelligence, could potentially cause serious harm.
She echoed the views of major tech figures, such as John Chambers, who warned that AI could lead to the destruction of jobs that could have a serious impact on societies.
“I’m not one who believes that robots are going to come and shoot us all,” Dew said. “But tasks are getting automated. If we’re not having a real conversation about what does that mean for the people whose jobs are being displaced, that’s a problem … If we don’t think about job retraining, and access to meaningful work in a more broad based way, we are going to be in big trouble. Because we’re on a path to leave behind a significant part of the population.”
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