Will.i.am is an entertainer, activist and philanthropist. He’s also well-known for his entrepreneurial spirit and futuristic leanings, including his equity stake in Beats before it was bought by Apple and an AI collaboration with IBM, but he also shares deep concerns about Big Tech.
“Technology is amazing,” he told Yahoo Finance Presents. “Technology with no regulations is scary as hell. Technology with no regulations and tech giants that are not accountable for selling our data to foreign nations and anybody that wants to buy it to manipulate and persuade us to do things we never would have done in the first place — that should be forbidden.”
Will.i.am’s comments come on the heels of the Department of Justice and 11 U.S. states filing an antitrust lawsuit against Google (GOOG, GOOGL), accusing it of engaging in anticompetitive behavior in its search and search advertising businesses.
Need to ‘change the distraction agent’
Once again, Will.i.am has set a soundtrack to the upcoming presidential election. His viral music video “The Love,” featuring Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson and former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s own words has been viewed over 35 million times since its release less than two weeks ago. It’s reminiscent of Will.i.am’s iconic “Yes, We Can,” featuring then Senator Barack Obama in 2008. Will.i.am made this most recent video independent of the Biden-Harris campaign, but its message is a clear call for a change in leadership.
“We need to change the distraction agent, the chaos agent, because to think that we're better off with it, you know, the trickster — that's not realistic,” he said. “With all the jokes, and the distractions and the shenanigans, we don't really realize how detrimental these games and these manipulative tactics of distractions are to the future of this country, the stability of this country, the progress, and we should be preparing our youth for a very technological tomorrow.“
Will.i.am says he loves technology and believes it has the power to educate and equalize. But he’s worried our education system is failing students and the future workforce: “Are there going to be jobs that are going to be threatened when the autonomous vehicle is everywhere? Yes, truck drivers. Unfortunately, Uber drivers 2030. Unfortunately, cashiers. Yes, unfortunately. But are there going to be jobs that we can't even imagine? Yes. Are we going to be making those jobs? Probably not. Why? Because we're freaking distracted.”
Jen Rogers is an anchor for Yahoo Finance Live. Follow her on Twitter @JenSaidIt.
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