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Collaborate or Compete?

We are back with another arc of episodes! This time, the focus is on economics of collaborative innovation.

Some of us like to think of the Internet as a global public good, developed with collaborative contributions of the brightest technical and social minds on the planet. At the same time, the reality is that networks are built by private interests, and national interests are increasingly being brought to bear to try to shape the reality of the Internet experience within and across borders. The common driving force is often economics.

So, when it comes to innovation, how does collaboration work, economically, between competing private interests? Especially when those interests are entire nations, grappling with globalization?

Join us for 3 fascinating discussions to explore these topics!

  • Maria Farrell — Collaboration and the globalized world (October 21, 2020)
  • Patrik Fältström — Open Standards and Collaboration Among Competitors (October 28, 2020)
  • Konstantinos Komaitis — Economics of Technology and Collaboration (November 11, 2020)

(Note the gap week… not publishing anything in the week of the US election!).

Practical Implications of Internet Consolidation

Consolidation sounds like a good thing — from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/consolidation:

  1. the action or process of making something stronger or more solid.
  2. the action or process of combining a number of things into a single more effective or coherent whole.

But, in all things, such progress may have negative consequences. Bruce Schneier observed:

For decades, we have prized efficiency in our economy. We strive for it. We reward it. In normal times, that’s a good thing. Running just at the margins is efficient. A single just-in-time global supply chain is efficient. Consolidation is efficient. And that’s all profitable. Inefficiency, on the other hand, is waste. Extra inventory is inefficient. Overcapacity is inefficient. Using many small suppliers is inefficient. Inefficiency is unprofitable.

[…]

Efficient systems have limited ability to deal with system-wide economic shocks. Those shocks are coming with increased frequency. They’re caused by global pandemics, yes, but also by climate change, by financial crises, by political crises. If we want to be secure against these crises and more, we need to add inefficiency back into our systems.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/07/the_security_va.html

When it comes to Internet technologies, implementation and deployment across geographies and corporations, this sort of “tidying up” and “simplifying” of the ecosystem can have some unexpected and unintended consequences.

We talked to experts in Internet technologies to explore the trends of Internet consolidation, and some of the implications for its users and would be innovators.

Join us for these upcoming podcasts:

  • July 15, 2020: “Internet Consolidation and the need for diversity”, with Paul Vixie
  • July 22, 2020: “Internet Consolidation and the Rise of Content Distribution Networks”, with Russ White
  • July 29, 2020: “Internet Consolidation –  Who is Resolving Your Query?”, with Dr. Roxana Radu and Michael Hausding

What to expect when you’re expecting Artificial Intelligence

Our next arc of podcasts focuses on Artificial Intelligence, and what to expect as it becomes more mainstream.

Although AI has been a research topic for decades, it is only now slowly starting to seep into mainstream technology experience. Even so, industry leaders and tech experts have formed views of what they expect — for good or ill — from AI as it infiltrates society. Lee Rainie, of Pew Research, collected hundreds of viewpoints and shared the diversity of perspectives with us.

But when is it artificial intelligence”? We talked with Dr. Robert Epstein about how AI programs can fool us into thinking they are sentient — and what would that mean.

Clearly, AI-driven technology is having, and will increasingly have, a significant impact on innovation as well as our daily lives. Our final guest in the arc, Dr. Colin Garvey, explains his view on how we should approach governance of AI development, in order to ensure we prosper in the world we are building.

Here’s our schedule for publishing these diverse and lively podcast episodes!

  • June 24, 2020: “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans”, with Lee Rainie of Pew Research
  • July 1, 2020: “Artificial Intelligence and Sentient bots”, with Dr. Robert Epstein
  • July 8, 2020: “A Zen Approach to Making AI Work for All of Us”, with Dr. Colin Shunryu Garvey

COVID19 and Contact Tracing

We are excited to start a new TechSequences podcast arc this week: COVID19 and digital contact tracing apps.

As with any epidemic, tracing the contacts of those who have been infected is an important tactic to help contain the reach of the virus. Tracing efforts have to be consistent and constant. Doing the work manually requires skilled personnel, and with the existing reach of the pandemic, it’s challenging to cope with the scope without some digital help. Thus, some form of digital contact tracing is probably inevitable as regions around the globe seek to return to some level of normal business and life activity.

For this pair of podcasts, we look at the potential policy and privacy implications of how contact tracing apps are used, and we have a look at the spread of apps already in use or development around the globe.

The podcasts and planned release dates are:

  • June 10, 2020: COVID19 Contact tracing apps, a fair bargain for public health? with Konstaninos Komaitis
  • June 17, 2020: The 411 on Contact Tracing Apps, with Patrick Howell O’Neill

Follow us to get the notification as soon as they are published!

First Arc: Security and Privacy

Today we launch the first in our series, or arc, of episodes on Security and Privacy! Check out the podcast, at the link below.

In this series of podcasts we examine the relationship between security, privacy, and digital identity. With the help of our distinguished guests we look at how the definition and expectations of security digital identity and privacy have evolved.  We look back at the assumptions underpinning the internet architecture and the consequences of those early decisions on issues facing us today in each of these realms.  We also look at emerging services and technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, etc.) to anticipate how they may change our expectations and anticipate the unintended consequences. 

Today’s episode gives you a preview of the whole arc. Be sure to tune in weekly, as the rest of the arc’s podcasts are released:

  • April 29, 2020: Marc Rotenberg
  • May 6, 2020: Suzanne Woolf
  • May 13, 2020: Eve Maler

For today’s episode, click here: https://www.techsequences.org/podcasts/2020/04/overview-security-privacy

See all the podcasts, here: https://www.techsequences.org/podcasts/

It’s alive!

I have a confession to make: we’ve been sitting on some recordings of fun discussions for weeks now, as we’ve been putting the necessary pieces in place to get them out to the world (i.e., this website and podcast hosting). There have been a few distractions along the way — that beer-virus-thing that’s keeping us all at home and yet somehow not making more hours in the day.

But, at last, we are publishing episodes! Click the “Podcasts” link above, or go to https://www.techsequences.org/podcasts/ . Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed (and if you already have — please do so again, because the feed has changed).

That brings up the final point: there are some pieces of this that are still a bit creaky, and we’re working on fixes even as we go live. If you see something — say something, especially if you know how to fix it :^) .