A lot of your work has to do with design as a solution to human and technical problems. Can better design solve inherently unethical business practices?
I don't think so. I've seen this happening in major companies: you'll work on a design that will be better for users or communities. But then it bubbles up the chain of command someone higher up sees that it's negatively impacting their KPI. And so it gets deprioritised.
Corporations are a kind of AI, in the sense that no one individual directs them, and they just operate on their objective function of maximising share price through the proxy of engagement metrics. And it's hard to push up against that.
One of the original sins of the internet was not having a good business model in mind, which meant that it defaulted to the advertising business model, which has led to surveillance capitalism, and now persuasion capitalism.
So I think that we as designers can no longer get away with living in a sort of Eden where we get to ignore business models. If we do so, our designs will always be subverted.
good answer, tho i would argue that it would have been hard to imagine an alternative trajectory given the larger political/economic trends