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Trump’s Tech Terror, Scary Days for Innovators

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Donald Trump, President-elect, get used to the idea. But what will he do to the tech world that he apparently so despises?

Donald Trump has made some sweeping statements about many things over the years. But he has been voted into power by a block of the American public, people who have lost their jobs to technology, people who fear globalization and an Internet of Things. Will Donald listen to their grievances, and will he do anything about it?

End of the robot army?

It is a common scene in American hospitals and factories, robots whirring away doing menial, accuracy-required or intensive tasks, supervised by a few humans. The companies that built and businesses that installed these robots claimed efficiency and revenue savings, but never looked at the human cost. How many porters and artisans voted for Trump in protest at the rise of this automated horde?

Robot Arm Portal Gun Future Judy Wajcman Robotics Automation Sociology Science

The same challenge goes for tech innovators today, European company Starship’s delivery robots could deprive hundreds of thousands of casual work if they become popular in America. Will Donald Trump allow this? While his ability to restrict trade and innovation is limited, he can put plenty of import, or health and safety roadblocks in the way. Or he could attempt to change the law so that robots cannot make people redundant. Who knows what is going through his spinning mind?

The IT giants have plenty of lobbying power in Washington, and many Hill insiders will fight Trump tooth and nail. But if there is a true sense that the elites need to change America for the benefit of the people, if only to protect their ivory towers, then the current trends could be brushed aside by a raft of populist laws.

Games are the enemy

There’s a well-retweeted message from 2012 where Donald says that violent games create monsters. Ignore that fact that the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield have sold tens of millions and there have been only a handful of violent incidents. If he still believes this, then Donald could direct the rating boards to create new restricted ratings or refuse to rate games that he and his family-friendly cronies dislike.

Games are a massive creative industry across America, and these creative types can easily change direction. Also, we could be in a time when people are getting bored of hyper-violence and intense cinematics. We’re loving the rise in retro games and a return to cute with Nintendo’s Switch, so this may be less of an issue, but who knows?

End of the Internet of Things

The big elephant in the technology room is the Internet of Things. Donald Trump may go one of two ways on this. He could back the potential of the IoT for snooping, spying and its intrusive nature in smart cities. Or, he could push back against always-on surveillance, based on the weak security and the Chinese sources of much of this technology, citing national security interests.

We at TechAcute are not political or legal animals, but we know these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technology issues, and how the new world of politics could affect them. Let us know what you think could go down, and how Donald’s presidency could affect your lives when it comes to the technology we rely on for work or pleasure?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Dan Ruscoe

Chris Knight

Chris Knight

I've been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.

Chris Knight

I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.

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