Bruce Sterling’s closing remarks at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival highlight the persistent problem of ‘stupid’ smart tech. Sterling argues that, while technology has become more intelligent, it lacks the necessary wisdom to be truly useful. He criticises the tech industry’s obsession with creating ‘smart’ devices, suggesting that this focus on intelligence over usefulness has resulted in a glut of unnecessary gadgets that clutter our lives.

Sterling also addresses the issue of privacy in the digital age, arguing that our personal data is often misused by tech companies. He expresses concern about the lack of transparency in how this data is collected and used, arguing for greater accountability.

Furthermore, Sterling discusses the concept of ‘stacks’ – large tech companies that dominate the digital landscape. He suggests that these stacks are becoming increasingly powerful, often at the expense of smaller companies and individual users.

Finally, Sterling touches on the future of the tech industry, predicting a shift towards more ethical and responsible practices. He calls for a new kind of tech – one that is smart, but also wise. Sterling’s remarks serve as a call to action for the tech industry, challenging it to become more accountable, transparent, and focused on creating truly useful technology.

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