Monoculture

Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and other Threats of Toxic Tech, points to meritocracy and monoculture as the problem:

In all that research about the benefits of diversity, one finding sticks out: it can feel harder to work on a diverse team. “Dealing with outsiders cause friction, which feels counterproductive,” writes researchers David Rock, Heidi Grant, and Jacqui Frey. But experiments have shown that this type of friction is actually helpful, because it leads teams to push past easy answers and think through solutions more carefully. “In fact, working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder,” they conclude. That’s a tough sell for tech companies, though. As soon as you invite in “outsiders” who questions the status quo… who ask whether the choices being made are ethical – it’s hard to skate by without scrutiny anymore. As a result, maintaining the monoculture becomes more important than improving products.

February 17, 2021