The march of Technological Giants against humanity
Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Uber etc. are not only growing rapidly but also expanding into a diverse number of areas, which have no relation to technology. These companies have become so large and dominant that their power is now being felt by not only USA citizens, but also people from all over the world.
- Uber employs millions of drivers across the world with countries like India being their main growth driver.
- Google is not only into software but is becoming dominant in areas such as home energy efficiency and mapping.
It is almost impossible for a person not using the products / services of at least one of these American giants if not all. These companies have also co-opted many people into becoming their part time workers. Apps are one way of how these companies are leveraging the strengths of their platforms into subjugating people into becoming their indentured workers.
If you are an app developer you have to compulsorily pay a large amount of money to these companies, even though you will do most of their effort. Google and Apple keep benefiting from the creativity of millions of people as their platforms are the only ones in town. These companies have now become powerful god like entities who can punish harshly and without appeal. If you are an app developer and are banned from their ecosystem without a cause, there is little that you can do. There is no court to enforce your rights as you don’t have an employment contract. You are a casual worker with no rights. Uber drivers are facing a similar predicament. The company keeps on increasing drivers without any limit, reducing their bargaining power and wages. The oversupply does not hurt the company as it makes a fixed margin. It only hurts the drives who are forced to live on minimum wages (this is the case in India).
These companies have become powerful beyond measure and even though the larger countries such as USA and Europe try to impose their power through some anti-competitive fines, they are nothing but pin pricks to these companies. These entities are venturing into more and more areas, as billions of dollars in cash flows pour each quarter from their operations, which they channelize to become even more powerful.
- Google has metamorphosised into Alphabet which will become a hydra of sorts.
- Facebook has become an Internet to itself and is forcing newspapers and publishers to migrate to its platform
Smaller countries have no power over these companies and have basically rolled over surviving on some crumbs thrown their way. Only China stands strong developing its own national champions in each area – Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and others.
I think that these companies represent a bigger threat to mankind then the other threats like global warming. These companies are accelerating technological change at a rapid rate with artificial intelligence, data analytics etc. developing at a rate which is leaving the human, social and political systems far behind in coping with these changes.Google+