MistyWest Tackles Darkside of Tech

by | Oct 31, 2020

MistyWest, a Vancouver based multidisciplinary engineering consultancy joined a recent webinar called ‘Darkside of Tech industry’ which was organized by the Vancouver Hardware Meetup.

MistyWest is known for prototyping early-stage tech and digital product development. The company is a pioneer in building novel intelligent devices across the world.

The Vancouver hardware community is a well-known forum that works to connect the creators to the funding angels. The group had invited MistyWest to analyze and answer questions on the dark side of the technological revolution, and how the human mind is getting distracted by the sudden expansion of smart and intelligent devices.

The questions posed by the Vancouver Hardware Community included:

  1. What technologies are we developing now that may have significant unintended negative consequences in the next few days?
  2. TikTok – a fun waste of time or an evil data monger who is making our already short attention spans worse?
  3. How do we combat bias in AI/ML programming and how do we detect it?
  4. What are some technologies or systems that are being designed to help us avoid disaster?

The meetup was started with a more generic question: what do you think is the biggest problem with technology right now?

“What is the dark side of tech? I was thinking a lot about this question and came back to the conclusion that it is a manifestation of the dark side of us,” said Andreas Putz, a computer scientist at MistyWest. “It’s not so much the tech I’m afraid of, but our use of it!…One of the subtle issues is things being transparent and private, but what amount of truth or reliability can we gleam from the information available to us.”

The group also discussed the consequences and psychological impacts that social media has been studied to have, especially for younger audiences.

“I think what makes TikTok more questionable is that unlike Facebook and Twitter that are more text-heavy, TikTok is about videos…the image flows directly into our brain,” said Mike Nasseri, director of Innovation at Arctic indigenous Innovations. “On other social media platforms, I know how they make money since they advertise things I might buy. On TikTok, I don’t know how they make money other than pure exploitation of the data in questionable ways.”

The group also asserted and discussed the growing concern of tech and machine learning creating bias and malicious data.

“Surely algorithms are coded with bias because society is biased. Who is writing the algorithms? Mostly white men and billionaires,” said Sarah Butterfield, co-founder of Dreams Unlimited.

Background of MistyWest’s participants and their area of expertise

The event was moderated by Farheen Taquee, Project Manager at MistyWest. Farheen has got 8 years of rich experience across the medical device industry.

The other distinguished speakers of the event were:

Mike Nasseri, The Urban Futurist, Director Of Innovation at Arctic Indigenous Innovations Inc.

Sarah Butterfield, co-founder of Dreams Unlimited and Speakables. Speakables is an innovative company based on provocative ideas that are being evaluated and created by MistyWest and DreamsUnlimited.

Andreas Putz, a Computer Scientist at MistyWest who has 8 years of profound experience in the fuel cell industry.

MistyWest’s tech leaders were discussing various issues related to digital evolution, cyberattacks, digital financial solutions, hardware product development cycle, IoT sensors and Industry 4.0. The tech leaders were creatively tackling the pessimistic questions with more diplomatic tech solutions. They have also discussed issues of this digital evolution and ways to combat them. One such solution is creating profound awareness about digital solutions and how to utilize them for the value of society.

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