How are new technologies transforming our jobs, companies and relationships?. Artificial intelligence is now a household term, and while we can’t physically see it, we know it’s hidden inside our mobile phones, automobiles and wearable devices, just to name a few. To better map and understand the changes that affect the core of society’s relationships, organizations look to Harvard’s Professor Jonathan Zittrain.
Few are as accomplished, esteemed and engaging as
Jonathan Zittrain. An expert on AI, cybersecurity and the future of work, he is a dynamic speaker as well as a master moderator of panels of some of the greatest minds of our age.
Zittrain addresses a key question of the modern era: in an age of rapid technological transformation, how do we build and restore trust and develop new social, economic, regulatory and ethical frameworks and strategies to address challenges we may have never before faced?
Jonathan Zittrain is one of the founders of the
at Berkman Klein Center, Internet & Society Harvard University, where he also co-chairs the Berkman Klein Center’s Digital Pandemic Response Practice, an interdisciplinary program that works with public and private decision makers on questions Urgent issues and policy decisions on the use of digital tools and data. His compelling and thought-provoking insights are invaluable to leaders trying to make sense of a world that is changing faster than ever.
He is the author of the bestseller,
“The future of the Internet and how to stop it”, which explores the idea that what makes the Internet special, and at the same time so vulnerable, is its open access.
An early AI researcher, a pioneer in the field of cyberspace and cyberlaw, and a contributor to multiple international Internet and societal research organizations, he has a nuanced understanding of AI and its complex regulatory and societal frameworks gained over the years. of a lifetime dealing with these very issues.
More recently, he has been a leading voice defining and clarifying pressing issues related to
the ethics of data use by digital platforms such as Facebook; how digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home should be designed; the implications of autonomous cars; and the future of work in a world dominated by AI and automation.
Will the Metaverse Be the Holy Grail or a Holy Fail?.
Facebook – now Meta – is among the latest companies convinced not only that there’s money to be made in virtual worlds, but that humanity’s future may largely lie there. Whether conceived in textual gaming, reconceived in role-playing environments like Second Life, or now more fully realized in multimedia networks and advanced hardware that create fully immersive experiences, what challenges lie ahead for a society that has already seen the harm such technologies can inflict?
Acknowledging that organizations will continue to develop products that push people farther into online environments and away from reality, Jonathan Zittrain – Professor of Law and Computer Science at Harvard University and a leading voice for the ethics of data use – reminds us of the lessons learned from past attempts to populate a metaverse.
He gives participants a preview of how this next phase will likely impact such issues as privacy, property, speech and governance, explores related ethical questions, and recommends ways organizations can do better. By being more conscious about how they develop and deploy technologies and who they target, organizational leaders and teams can play a critical role in building the kind of future they want for themselves and their posterity.
NFTs and the Value of Owning the Unownable.
“Non-fungible tokens” (NFTs) broke into general awareness through their eye-popping valuations — with people naturally wondering not only who would buy them, but what they are. Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain has been researching the minor miracles and major idiosyncracies of the digital era since the Internet first went mainstream.
In this talk, he explains what “unowned” technologies like cryptocurrency, the web, and the Internet itself are, and why the very fact that no one readily controls them can lend them special value. But how to distinguish between their genius and their madness?
Restoring Trust in the Digital Age.
The economy may be doing well, but trust in digital technology – and the companies devising it – is hard to find. The optimism associated with Silicon Valley, including about the prospects of its products bettering the world, has floundered amidst worries about privacy, misinformation and inclusion. What previously was seen as helping our autonomy and community – “Learn about any topic you want! Hail a car at any moment! Connect with long lost friends!” – now might appear to be confining them, in ways we can only barely discern, one scandal at a time.
In this talk, Jonathan Zittrain will speak to what’s gone wrong; what parts of the trust deficit are specific to the technology and its makers, versus our societal institutions generally; and how we might get back on track.
Are You Ready For AI?.
Artificial intelligence provokes both excitement and anxiety. Even as the world awaits the vast opportunities of AI, we are wary of the possible ways it can go wrong, and how it can undermine entire business models in the blink of an eye. Jonathan Zittrain, a scholar of the development of the internet, says that as AI becomes more advanced and more common, we must consider three questions:
- How do we successfully embed AI in our technologies?
- What AI breakthroughs are imminent and which ones are in the distant future?
- What are the risks and benefits of deploying AI?
In this presentation, which can be tailored to different audiences and focus on specific subsets of the broader theme, Zittrain explores ways in which AI is already reshaping the world and how it might change in the future. Companies need to develop a deeper understanding of which aspects of AI will be most transformative and how they can respond; what they should embrace and what is merely a passing fad; and the reputational and ethical risks inherent in the technology, and how they can create a framework for containing or addressing them.
The Future of Work.
Concern for the displacement of human jobs by AI is pervasive in social, cultural and political discourse. A combination of artificial intelligence, the rise of digital platforms and the “gig” economy has caused companies to struggle both with disruptive technology and having to compete with rivals who are able to reap greater profits with little overhead, while governments scramble to devise a new framework for an economy that is prosperous for some and insecure for many.
Internet pioneer and new technology expert Jonathan Zittrain draws upon both his own research and his experience participating in the digital economy to help companies understand AI, automation and the long-term prospects for human employment. Zittrain argues that the focus should not be on preserving traditional jobs but on creating the best possible framework for companies and individuals to reap the rewards of platforms, AI and automation. In doing so, we can channel freed-up human activity into creative, productive and self-fulfilling tasks.
In the future, says Zittrain, humanity can increase productive creativity while outsourcing many routine functions to AI. But we do have to ensure in the present that this future of work will help rather than harm most people.
How Tech Companies Can (And Should) Protect Our Privacy.
Over the past decade, our lives have been transformed by social media. Suddenly, we could connect, share information and network with others, all for free. Except it wasn’t free. Instead of paying money, we were exchanging our personal data – and compromising our own cybersecurity – for the ability to easily share online. This has been increasingly problematic as consumers realize – thanks to dramatic scandals and data breaches – how much their own privacy and security have been compromised.
Companies which have access to our information, says Zittrain, should be held to the same standard as doctors, lawyers and other professionals to whom similarly sensitive details about our personal lives are available. Rather than tech companies changing (or being forced to change) their business models wholesale, they can instead embrace a “fiduciary” responsibility to their customers. As threats become more extensive and malicious, digital firms’ protection of our data will become a matter of basic cybersecurity in addition to one of personal privacy, and penalties for not guaranteeing safety will be severe.
This presentation is geared toward companies who want to leave a legacy of having changed the world for the better and succeeded financially, as well as the policymakers who are weighing options to deal with those businesses who do not have the desire or ability to embrace change.
Cyber Threats and Terrorism: Are We Secure?.
With massive data breaches commonplace and data integrity in doubt, cyber security continues to be a vital policy and legal issue. The challenges are real and plentiful: while the openness of PCs and the Internet has spawned an abundance of connectivity and creativity, it has also brought a growing scourge of spam, viruses, identity theft and cyber-terrorism. But in the face of such threats, the answer is not a move toward simpler, locked-down devices in exchange for security, Jonathan Zittrain argues.
He discusses the false starts in understanding the simultaneously underappreciated and overhyped fields of cybersecurity and cyber warfare, and offers a view on where the deepest problems lie – and how to address them. Should we be afraid? Are we prepared? In this presentation, Zittrain will explore:
- Cyber Terrorism and Technology Infrastructure Protection: Why is the government so deeply concerned about it, while proposing only a “partnership” to deal with it?
- Civil Liberties: Zittrain paints a picture of the surveillance society to come and highlights the ethical implications.
- The Cantonized Internet: Get ready for filters left and right—ideological, mercenary, governmental, and ultimately our own, as the idea of a “generally accessible” web site available on “the” Internet recedes into the past.
- Why the Internet of Things is making cybersecurity that much more difficult
What’s a tort? It’s a wrong that a court is prepared to recognize, usually in the form of ordering the transfer of money (“damages”) from the wrongdoer to the wronged. The court is usually alerted to wrong by the filing of a lawsuit: anyone can walk through the courthouse doors and, subject to the limits explored in civil procedure, call someone else (or, if a company, some-thing) to account. This volume discusses the sources that courts turn to in order to answer such questions. Rarely, in tort cases, are those sources the ones laypeople expect: statutes passed by legislatures. Without statutes to guide them, what are courts left with?
The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It.
The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It explains the engine that has catapulted the Internet from backwater to ubiquity—and reveals that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success. With the unwitting help of its users, the generative Internet is on a path to a lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation—and facilitating unsettling new kinds of control.
The Internet’s current trajectory is one of lost opportunity. Its salvation lies in the hands of its millions of users. Drawing on generative technologies like Wikipedia that have so far survived their own successes, this book shows how to develop new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively, participate in solutions, and become true “netizens.”
Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace.
A daily battle for rights and freedoms in cyberspace is being waged in Asia. At the epicenter of this contest is China–home to the world’s largest Internet population and what is perhaps the world’s most advanced Internet censorship and surveillance regime in cyberspace. Resistance to China’s Internet controls comes from both grassroots activists and corporate giants such as Google. Meanwhile, similar struggles play out across the rest of the region, from India and Singapore to Thailand and Burma, although each national dynamic is unique. Access Contested examines the interplay of national security, social and ethnic identity, and resistance in Asian cyberspace.
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