Mayor of London Khan: Tech companies should take their responsibilities



The mayor of London Sadiq Khan talks at SXSW. The main point of his talk is about taking responsibility for the way the tech revolution is changing the world we live in. “One of the biggest shared challenges today: ensuring that the advancement of technology is for the benefit of everyone in society.”

What is it?

Kahn knows where he’s talking but doesn’t hold back. He talks about the changes caused by social media and the sharing economy. He sees change as inevitable, but that doesn’t mean al change must be accepted without any questions asked. Because the current changes may bring good, but they also do a lot of harm. Hate tweets, loss of work and more. “The sharing economy at its worst it can drive down payments, workers rights and safety standards”, is Khans analyses. “Perhaps we all placed too much faith in the stated intentions and vision of tech pioneers. The vision of great openness, inclusivity and morality to create something that benefits everyone. How can we make sure that technology always helps and never hinders our aim to create more open, connected, socially integrated societies.”

Why is it interesting?

Khan knows technology can’t be stopped. He sees the good that can come of it, but also sees the dangers when nothing is done and tech companies can do as they please. He calls upon tech companies to take their responsibilities. “There must be greater responsibility taken by tech companies for the impact they are having on the world. And no business or industry should ever consider itself above the local rules and laws set by democratic processes.” Strong words in a room full of tech believers. Words that are worth listening to.

Key take away/Quote:

“We cannot accept that just because a business is smart, disruptive, popular even and has a really neat app, it somehow has a right to behave in a different regulatory status to its competitors.”

Watch the video