Public policy and regulation. The age of a mostly unregulated internet will come to an end. Elected officials and technology leaders will move ahead with regulatory frameworks aimed at protecting the public good. The lawless alternative has caused dangerous disruptions across society.
Responses representing this theme:
Angelique Hedberg, senior corporate strategy analyst at RTI International, said, “The definition of what it means to be human will evolve and the laws and regulation will follow, albeit in a less than direct manner. We will value governments in new and different ways, and we will expect more from our technology platforms. The deluge of data will provide new inputs into the decision models for platforms, bringing greater clarity to the short-term benefits and long-term risks, in return making the financial decisions more social, environmental and moral. Where laws and regulations can effect a bottom line, they will. Where law and regulations cannot, the planet will step in and regulate the excess.”
Adam Popescu, a writer who contributes frequently to the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Vanity Fair and the BBC, wrote, “The dark side of the web has emerged, and it’s come bringing the all-too-human conditions the web’s wunderkinds claimed they would stamp out. Given the direction in the last five years, the weaponization of the web, it will go more and more in this direction, which ultimately means regulation and serious change from what it is now.”
Micah Altman, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and head scientist in the program on information science at MIT Libraries, said, “How technology affects people and society depends in large part on what values we embed into the design of these technologies, and who controls them. With appropriate governance, information, communication and AI, technologies can vastly increase human capability if we as a society establish the rights of users of ubiquitous technologies to inspect their operation, audit their results and exercise agency into how these systems interact with them and their data, and if we use effective regulation to ensure that these systems are both designed and operated to preserve these rights. If not, it is likely that these increasingly powerful technologies will enable concentrations of power and influence over others – economically through using these technologies to amplify the advantage of wealth, through influence over beliefs and persuasion, and through surveillance and coercion. I choose to be hopeful.”