Inside the digital society
David Souter writes a weekly column for APC, looking at different aspects of the information society, development and rights. David’s pieces take a fresh look at many of the issues that concern APC and its members, with the aim of provoking discussion and debate. Issues covered include internet governance and sustainable development, human rights and the environment, policy, practice and the use of ICTs by individuals and communities.
I’ve spent some time reflecting on the way we’ve thought about the internet and digitalisation over three decades, and how we may need to think differently in future. What assumptions have we made; and what assumptions should we make, about its relationship with politics and geopolitics?
David Souter has been looking back over the pieces he wrote about COVID’s impact on the digital society, present and future. Before this column enters its Northern summer/Southern winter break, he thought the time had come for some reflection on how that has been going.
Look back at the early days of digital enthusiasm, and you’ll find many assumptions. “Good things” (or opportunities) were often emphasised in digital literature back then; less good things (or risks) less so.
This week, we'll focus on the way that children’s experience of culture’s changed over the generations, with some questions about what that means. And some nostalgia.
I’ve never really liked the term ‘the digital divide’. Alliteration’s easy. It gains attention to an issue, which is good, but it also oversimplifies.
Rather than talking about what the internet ‘can’ do, we can reflect on what it has done and use evidence to anticipate the future and adapt our policies. But doing so requires more sophisticated and holistic ways of measuring its impact.
Last week I wrote about how we define the internet. This week, some thoughts about its history and its trajectory. The internet has been around now long enough for its history to be written.
Last week I wrote about what digitalisation may be doing to creativity. This week, a look at what it may already have done to the way that we ‘consume’ creative culture.
Can artificial intelligence be "creative"? Can it be original? Can it make art, or music, or literature that is as meaningful as art of music or literature that’s made by humans? Can it understand emotion as well as we do?