Hi! 👋 I’m Jessa.

I blog daily about life, work, and the future.

A major social network company purchases a top global bank and becomes the first social credit provider. It bases mortgage rates, loan approvals, and credit access on deep data collected by its social platform. It takes into consideration the credit histories of close friends and family, locations visited (including frequency of visits to places like bars and legal marijuana dispensaries), and “semantic analysis” of messages and photos to indicate whether individuals are generally happy, angry, anxious, or depressed.

from Forecasting Skills: See the Future Before it Happens course by Institute for the Future

The Institute for the Future presented some guide questions to keep the conversation going. Here are my responses:

What new things might happen in this future, that can’t happen today?

In this future, more people will be thinking twice before posting on their social media accounts, knowing that what they do affects their bank status.

This technology will also shape how people behave online and build their online presence.

What would you be excited about in this future?

I am not incredibly excited about this technology because as it rewards and penalizes behavior, we might just become like Pavlov’s dog. However, there might be a good side to this, such as amplifying good behavior.

What would you worry about in this future?

I worry about how this technology will manipulate human behavior, making people less humane in the process. We might end up faking every action we make just to get a high social credit.

Who benefits in this future?

The government that wants to gain control over its people greatly benefits in this future. Big Brother will always be watching, day in and day out.

Those who exemplify good behavior are also at an advantage because they will reap all the benefits in this future.

Who is at a disadvantage in this future?

Unruly citizens are at a significant disadvantage in this future. As they get penalized for every bad behavior, they might also be dehumanized in the process.

Do you share the same sentiments like I do? Let’s keep the conversation going! Feel free to message me here or share this post with a friend.

To read more about this kind of future, here’s an article from Business Insider about how China has started ranking citizens with a creepy ‘social credit’ system. If that kind of future is not scary enough, take a peek at Black Mirror’s Nosedive trailer and see for yourself if this is the kind of world you would want to wake up to one day. If not, there’s still time to shape the future.