In the beginning of 2016, when I was deciding what to do with my education and career, the question of whether tech news is still relevant or not came up. What does that mean? Well, for starters, it means that things might be changing at a rapid pace — some people are saying this is because “technology is never settled.” But it’s also true that technology advances so quickly that it can numb you to some of the more dramatic changes. 

Another important point to consider is how information becomes filtered — through platforms like social media which are heavily concentrated on what’s trending topics at the moment. Quietly sue big tech is one way of looking at it. But the information can also be filtered by default. In other words, traditional news sources are sometimes on the side of big tech, not to mention a whole host of commercial interests as well. 

So I’m going to try to do something different with this blog: intentionally look for ways that tech news is becoming irrelevant. I want to start a conversation and give alternative perspectives. Even if you think it’s impossible, consider what it would take for things to change — would you have one major platform that everyone uses? If so, it would completely block out other content and be in control of the narrative (we are slowly getting there).

Is Tech News Still Relevant :

1. The Rise of Crypto Currency:

In 2016, we saw a lot of progress with Bitcoin and other crypto currencies — leads me to wonder if we could be on the brink of a major shift. If these centralized finance currencies become more mainstream, that could definitely change how people think about information. 

For example, if you have Bitcoin, you’re going to be more inclined to try and find out what it is and how it works rather than just blindly trusting the status quo. It’s also possible that the cost for information might go down with lower operating costs (i.e. less filtering). This is just one area where tech news is becoming irrelevant — I’m also curious to see how it plays out with decentralized applications and platforms.

2. The Rise of Bots:

Bots have become a little more mainstream over the last couple of years with companies like Facebook using chatbots — but what does this mean for tech news? Well, if you think about it, most news bots are basically powered by artificial intelligence — I think in a few months we will start to see them more heavily influence the playing field. I think we will see this in discussions of large companies. I don’t think that bots will ever be fully trusted — but I do think that there is something valuable about them and some companies have access to a trustworthy conversational chatbot. They can help to amplify voices and ideas based on biases, values, and world views.

3. The Rise of Crowdsourced Content:

Earlier this year, we saw the formation of a new type of content platform known as Steemit (plug?) which is powered by blockchain technology. It’s a social media platform where users are rewarded with cryptocurrency for creating and sharing content called “tokes. This is news where tech news is becoming irrelevant because it levels the playing field. It’s also an example of how information is becoming easier to access and share on these alternative platforms.

4. The Rise of Automation:

The rise of automation is already said to be slowing down some tech jobs, but I think that the information sector by and large will be safe for now — I think journalists will always have a place in the world. But, if you really think about it, automation doesn’t just apply to jobs — it also applies to more intelligent ways of doing things. In other words, we are seeing the rise of automation with things like artificial intelligence (AI). 

In the past, we’ve seen this phenomenon with things like machine learning and deep learning. This is where I think that tech news is becoming irrelevant because it’s not a topic people are talking about. It also has a lot of parallels with the technology that powers artificial intelligence such as cloud computing and computer vision.

5. The Rise of Privacy:

Privacy concerns over the last year have definitely been problems for many big companies (i.e. Uber, Airbnb). The major thing that stands out to me is how little tech news has really covered it — maybe it’s not the most pressing issue in this sector, but there are plenty of other examples where privacy matters. I think in some ways it’s bigger than just AI. I think the rise of automation might even have an indirect correlation to privacy because data ultimately becomes more valuable when you have a better way to predict and automate actions.

6. The Rise of Open-Source Software:

Open-source software is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, but it does make me wonder about tech news becoming irrelevant because there are so many different platforms that can help people find relevant content — I’m thinking specifically of stuff like Reddit — and places like Github might be a more valuable resource for developers.


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