Problem Tech Companies

Slate magazine sent a ballot to a host of people like journalists, scholars or advocates asking them for who they thought were the tech companies they were concerned about. They did not define what was meant by concern or what was meant by tech companies. Then they tallied the results and published a list of what those they asked considered the 30 technology companies they were most concerned about.  Let’s note that the companies were not listed by size or name recognition, but by how much concern those polled experience towards them. As is perhaps expected the top three companies on that list of 30 are Amazon as number one, Facebook as number 2 and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, as number three. Exxon Mobile is number 10, Huawei is 11, Tesla 14 and Disney number 15. But there are surprises too, AirbnB as number 24  or Megvii at number 25, a company  working with facial recognition which I for one had not heard of. The popular 23andMe is number 18.  Elon Musk SpaceX is number 17 and Verizon number 16.  Many of the companies are not household names, but as a whole they reflect our general concern for AI, for surveillance, for the loss of privacy, for how big they can be, how pervasive their reach  is or for not being sufficiently interested in climate change. For me, though, the list is a rather good microcosm for companies which may not as a rule concern themselves with the public good.