Growing up as the internet evolved encouraged me to pursue the ideals that digital technology makes possible. Equality of opportunity, access to information, healthier communities... However, these ideals are not determined or defined by the technology itself. Unfortunately the way technology has been used and applied, our access to it and our understanding of it, has been driving bigger rifts in society than ever previously imagined. For much of the world’s population technology is deployed poorly and in ways that take advantage of and exacerbate structural and social inequalities.

The vast pools of data we have been generating have not translated into better, more efficient services and standards of living. For all the ideals associated with digital technology people are experiencing increasing levels of isolation and exclusion, their vulnerabilities exposed or ignored.

Artificial intelligence, is now rapidly evolving. Artificial intelligence will reshape every single aspect of our lives. However, building upon and applying intelligence to existing systems will only amplify the inefficiencies, bias and asymmetry of their design. Artificial intelligence has the potential to exploit our existing structural and social inequalities in unfathomable ways, slowing down and reversing growth by exploiting even bigger rifts in society.

A completely new system is needed, capable of applying intelligent technology to deliver the next generation of services. Mortar is developing the algorithms and the framework for the delivery of these services, making them more accessible, inclusive and equitable. Through our delivery of bespoke products and solutions for partners across local government, housing and health Mortar is able to pursue and deliver on the same original technological ideals, equality of opportunity, access to information, healthier communities.