New wealth, new trade offs, same data battle
The advanced digitisation of our lives could result in the quantifying and subsequent unionisation of different aspects of behaviour and the values that drive them. This could lead to the trading, gaming, competing and collecting of those units as if they were commodities, and the use of these commodities by ourselves and others to influence our behaviour further.
For example, someone’s commitment to environmental causes could be measured and coded and turned into earnable credits or tokens. Then, the environmentally positive behaviour is transformed into a currency because that behaviour has an understood value in multiple contexts, to multiple people.
What might be down the path?
Within this new service role, we can envisage an extension of the concept of ‘the quantified self’. In other words, data simply provides insight, to the user and potentially others, into a dynamic where the data is commoditised as a proxy for the behaviour that led to it. As a consequence, we may see trends around new types of ‘wealth’ resulting from new ways of comparing value between people and companies. We may see tangible connections drawn between different areas of our lives like happiness and health leading to previously unseen, data driven trade-offs. And we may see a power struggle as users try to harness the value of their own actions and data for themselves and for others while continuing to grapple with concepts of privacy and protection.
Each design proposition is a vehicle that helps map this territory.
Greencoin is a proposition that tracks your environmental impact. When you have a positive impact you earn Greencoin currency, which can be spent on sustainable products.
Pulse is a proposition that extends your gaming life outside of the digital space to incentivise healthy activities and prevent gaming from becoming detrimental.
Qualitime is a proposition that helps you track how everything you do influences your happiness and your life expectancy, so that you can decide what is most important to you.
Ethos is a proposition that learns, tracks and guides your behaviours to help you live more in line with your values and beliefs.
Other Proposition types
Platforms as facilitators and brokers of value judgements. It’s possible that in the future we could foresee an advancement of AI with the ability to codify and model the highly complex ethical parameters of everyday life.