Silicon Valley — Lucie Greene

‘Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What it Means for Our Future’ by Lucie Greene discusses how Silicon Valley technology companies are attempting to take over the world.

These tech giants include Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber and Microsoft and are continuously gaining power and threatening public places and services. Greene describes public sector services as “slow and unsexy”, emphasising how much more efficiently these tech giants could deliver these services. The areas being threatened are health, town planning, education, transport, life sciences and space travel; but with this comes security risks as personal data is stored within these services.

In this current time, Microsoft are a prime example of how education is being threatened. As Microsoft Teams makes work material accessible online, working from home has become a lot easier. Although this does not apply to every university course, it has made a lot more of them online courses which would not have been achievable had it not been for technology giants such as Microsoft.

COVID has emphasised the hyper connected world. As lockdown began and people began working and learning from home, no matter your age it was almost assumed that everyone had the facilities at home that made this possible. This made me realise the real influence that these technology companies and the digital world has on our lives. Those who do not have access to a laptop/computer or the internet at home were given an ultimatum, do they go to work and potentially risk the health of themselves and their family or do they lose their job? In education it was the difference between people being able to learn or missing out. This emphasised how much we use the internet and our digital devices, these companies influence how we work, how we shop and how we communicate — is there any aspect of our lives that they don’t interact with?