It is no longer enough to automate information flows about us; the goal now is to automate us. These processes are meticulously designed to produce ignorance by circumventing individual awareness and thus eliminate any possibility of self-determination. As one data scientist explained to me, “We can engineer the context around a particular behaviour and force change that way... We are learning how to write the music, and then we let the music make them dance.”
This power to shape behaviour for others’ profit or power is entirely self-authorising. It has no foundation in democratic or moral legitimacy, as it usurps decision rights and erodes the processes of individual autonomy that are essential to the function of a democratic society. The message here is simple: Once I was mine. Now I am theirs.
Shoshana Zuboff, interviewed by John Naughton, in theGuardian.com ; London : Guardian News and Media Limited, 20 january 2019 (excerpt La Litera información)