Missing from this piece that warns of digital totalitarianism and recommends pluralism, transparency, decentralization of information systems, and self-determination: any mention of the regime under which the “automation of society” is being produced. Nothing about IP/copyright/patent, and nothing about free/open or commons.
On one hand I’m heartened to see no mention, and therefore no genuflection to, knowledge as property. Not mentioning them however means not addressing the question of who will own AI. But there are some things in the article that might have been influenced by commons-based knowledge production:
towns and even villages could set up centers for the emerging digital communities (such as fab labs), where ideas can be jointly developed and tested for free. Thanks to the open and innovative approach found in these centers, massive, collaborative innovation could be promoted.
Particular kinds of competitions could provide additional incentives for innovation, help increase public visibility and generate momentum for a participatory digital society. They could be particularly useful in mobilising civil society to ensure local contributions to global problems solving (for example, by means of “Climate Olympics”). For instance, platforms aiming to coordinate scarce resources could help unleash the huge potential of the circular and sharing economy, which is still largely untapped.
With the commitment to an open data strategy, governments and industry would increasingly make data available for science and public use, to create suitable conditions for an efficient information and innovation ecosystem that keeps pace with the challenges of our world. This could be encouraged by tax cuts, in the same way as they were granted in some countries for the use of environmentally friendly technologies.
A “Wikipedia of Cultures” could eventually help to coordinate various activities in a highly diverse world and to make them compatible with each other. It would make the mostly implicit success principles of the world’s cultures explicit, so that they could be combined in new ways. A “Cultural Genome Project” like this would also be a kind of peace project, because it would raise public awareness for the value of sociocultural diversity. Global companies have long known that culturally diverse and multidisciplinary teams are more successful than homogeneous ones. However, the framework needed to efficiently collate knowledge and ideas from lots of people in order to create collective intelligence is still missing in many places. To change this, the provision of online deliberation platforms would be highly useful. They could also create the framework needed to realize an upgraded, digital democracy, with greater participatory opportunities for citizens. This is important, because many of the problems facing the world today can only be managed with contributions from civil society.