I think we’re already moving into a very—uncomfortably for most of us, into a place where nation-states, governments, are being forced to cede authority to corporations. And that is going to, I assume, happen faster and faster. And if you throw in space, if you throw in the limitlessness of space, then I mean…the sky’s the limit so to speak. I don’t know what the…where that takes us.
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What we’ll be covering is just the general issue of political information on the net. And actually I think probably all three of us are in somewhat agreement that the government on the net is maybe the least best-poised to make use of this, or the most challenged by political speech on the net, the politics of the information flowing around the net.
As we’ve moved into increasingly digital spaces, so online worlds, we’re moving away from your traditional physical spaces where you have public streets; where you have public squares; where people can go to protest, and into areas, if you would call them that, that are entirely controlled by corporations.
Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the people have gone from not having it around to having it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a little younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t really need to be explained. It does however need to be contextualized.
Hegel was a young lecturer at a German university at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. And the French armies were laying siege to his city and he had to evacuate. And he wrote to his friends afterwards, saying, “I have seen the future. The future comes on horseback.”
I was at the White House for almost six years. And most of the time that I was there was spent on trying to bring sort of these best practices that we knew worked in the tech industry to bear in government when it came to policy implementation.
Everybody thinks of bureaucrats as being kind of a neutral force. But I’m going to make the case that bureaucrats are in fact a very strongly negative force, and that automating the bureaucratic functions inside of our society is necessary for further human progress.
If you have a system that can worry about stuff that you don’t have to worry about anymore, you can turn your attention to other possibly more interesting or important issues.
In a world of conflicting values, it’s going to be difficult to develop values for AI that are not the lowest common denominator.