advertisement advertisement advertisement When COVID-19 struck and businesses began laying off employees, unemployment systems buckled. Why? State unemployment systems were using programming language from the Eisenhower era. By the end of 2020, despite the federal government distributing 14 million vaccine doses to states, only 4 million had been administered. Again, why? Without a modern hub to manage national distribution, institutions scrambled to deliver vaccines, leading to mismanagement, waste, and an avoidable loss of life. advertisement advertisement These long-standing shortcomings, punctuated by the pandemic, reemphasize how important technology is for governments to fulfill their responsibilities. The Biden administration has an opportunity to build a 21st-century government, one that delivers the power of technology to benefit society at the speed of need, while offsetting the harms normally associated with Big Tech. To do so, the administration must prioritize hiring and deploying public-interest technologists who bring both expertise and ethics to the job. With skills honed in the private sector, most technologists are trained to build systems that optimize for profits without much regard for how they may exacerbate inequalities. And when these systems are procured by government agencies that lack the capacity to critically assess and implement them, technocratic infrastructure prioritizes efficiency… Read full this story
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