A civil society based in Cambridge, a community of practitioners and thinkers working around the intersections of technology, ethics, and society.

After a successful launch at which we discussed Automation, the Future of Work, and UBI, our second event will have a loose theme of Public Service Internet, and will take place from 6-8pm on 30th November 2018, at a private residence easily accessible from Cambridge Station.

Here are some things we’ve been reading in this area. Please let us know via the form below if you can recommend an article (with a URL and an indicative snippet) about positive initiatives, ideas or research. Please also use the form if you live in the geographical wide area and are interested in attending this or future Future Fridays.

“We don’t get free speech by having no rules online, but by building a network that can have rules applied and then winning the political arguments for laws and regulations which guarantee that free speech, within the bounds of a specific group, country or culture, and according to their agreed standards.”

“Today, the scope for using the internet for public benefit rather than to serve purely commercial or government interests has grown. This has prompted a group within BBC Research & Development to work towards clarifying what this might mean and how the BBC could help create an internet that more easily supports the online ambitions of public service organisations of all types, around the world.”

In case you needed it, one of many articles looking at some of the problems with the current Internet
“Social Media Runs on Rage. And we can’t protect our kids from it, no matter how hard we try”

“Dominant ‘Information Utilities’ – whose dominance might be measured in terms of their significant market power, such as their share of the online or mobile advertising markets – would have the most stringent reporting duties. These proposals would be compatible with the imposition of a ‘duty of care’ on social media companies being proposed by others. In the case of Facebook, its founder has regularly referred to it as ‘a social utility’ and in his 600-word manifesto last year, referred to it as ‘social infrastructure’ on several occasions. Perhaps we should take Zuckerberg at his word and accept that Facebook is a social utility and a form of social infrastructure. Utilities, after all, are regulated.”

“We are working on building models that can detect claims automatically, match similar claims and cluster groups of claims together. We do this through careful collaboration with other expert factcheckers, and with help from hundreds of volunteers who collect and sort the data.”

“Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media System Resilience”
A report from the LSE’s Commission On Truth Trust And Technology
More information, links, and video on the LSE initiative

“Let’s take some responsibility and leave the internet a better place than we found it.”