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Rep. Ro Khanna argues unequal access to technology creates unequal access to wealth

Ro Khanna author photo_credit Sam Garvin.jpeg
Sam Garvin
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Author Ro Khanna

When the internet was first growing, experts made grandiose predictions. Some believed it would make “democracy finally possible.” At the very least, many expected the internet would be used “for the purpose of serving humanity.”

But in many ways, those ideas have not materialized. Facebook, a website with roughly 1.93 billion daily users, was a significant tool used to foment the Jan. 6 insurrection. Online hate speech surged 20% around the beginning of the pandemic and misinformation continues to run rampant. All the while, some of the richest people on earth made their wealth leading tech companies.

U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents much of Silicon Valley, argues digital equality can be restored. From students struggling to afford laptops or lacking stable Wi-Fi to the increasing automation of jobs, his latest book analyzes and “offers a vision for democratizing digital innovation to build economically vibrant and inclusive communities.”

As technology becomes increasingly infused with much of daily life, we sit down with Khanna to discuss his new book and how we might take advantage of the best aspects of technology while reigning in the worst.

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Ro Khanna, Democratic member of the U.S. House representing California’s 17th District, former deputy assistant secretary of commerce for the Obama administration and author of “Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us.”

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.