The internet today is nothing like the World Wide Web that Sir Tim Berners-Lee envisioned when he invented it in 1989.
While it continues to be a place where people can interact in a free exchange of ideas, individuals and groups have lost their sense of empowerment to a handful of giant monopolies and countries that are bent on collecting their personal data.
“After a stage becomes more dominant, it can collect more information,” said Pieter Verdegem, senior lecturer in the University of Westminster School of Media and Communication.
“That’s what we’re seeing around the world, and it explains why we now have the so-called GAFAM — Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft — at the U.S. and also the so called BAT — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — at China.”
“The next wave is all about artificial intelligence,” Verdegem said. “Businesses and governments will utilize all that information to train calculations to produce greater profound learning versions. And as (Russian President) Vladimir Putin once said, the individual who’s in control of artificial intelligence will dominate the entire world.”
However, Berners-Lee along with also his business partner, John Bruce, have produced an alternate to fight against this consolidation of power.
They’ve established a startup firm, Inrupt.com, which permits users, rather than firms, to control their own information, to keep it in pods and also to transfer it wherever they please.
Meaning Facebook, Google or some other Big Tech firm will no longer have the ability to extract a person’s photographs, opinions or purchase background without asking. All that will be saved on a pod, as well as the individual may talk about the data with the firm when he or she selects.
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“We’re on a mission to change how the net works, to make it a much better place for all of us,” explained Berners-Lee at a November YouTube movie using Technology Intelligence Live. “it is a mid-course correction to reestablish the values of group and individual empowerment the net used to possess seems to get dropped.”
Berners-Lee clarified he developed the open-sourced, online protocols to the new company whilst teaching at MIT. It is called Sound and enables anybody to share info with anybody else. They do not even have to use the very same apps.
“This is actually the opposite way that programs are constructed,” Berners-Lee explained. “You do not need to hand your information over and then it is locked from that program indefinitely.”
With Best, the individual – not a platform like Facebook – controls the data
So far, the biggest deals that Inrupt has inked have been with government entities and large corporations. It has a deal with the National Health System in the United Kingdom to put health data into pods so that when someone shows up at a hospital, all their health history will show up with them.
Additionally, it has deals with all the BBC to provide services to audiences in a smarter manner and together with the Flanders authorities in Belgium.
Verdegem, who recently published about Inrupt at The Conversation, stated his primary complaint of the business is an individual’s data is not worth that much. It is just in the aggregate which info is actually beneficial to a company such as Google or Facebook.
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But perhaps that is not the way information must be looked at anyway, Verdegem said. It needs to be considered as a tool that is not possessed by companies or individuals, but by culture.
He pointed into pilot jobs from Amsterdam and Barcelona, Spain, which allowed taxpayers to determine how they desired data to be utilized, if they needed it to be granted to open minded programmers so that they could enhance mobility solutions or simply to firms such as Uber or even Google.
“Governments and communities are coming to realize that Big Tech’s data-driven digital dominance is unhealthy for society”.
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