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.
Words change their meaning over time – but the words we use have lasting impacts on the ways in which we see things. This week I’m asking what we mean when we talk about the “telephone”.
It’s fifteen years since the World Summit on the Information Society – and the United Nations is pledged to hold a review of what has happened since the Summit in 2025. But are the outcomes of the Summit still relevant today? How should the UN go about reviewing it?
Last week I wrote about ethical frameworks for artificial intelligence. This week I’ll draw on one initiative among these.
Artificial intelligence is not such a new idea as many think. The term itself was coined in the 1950s. There’s been talk of ethics round it, too, for more than half a century. But debates on this today are different, for several reasons.
Everyone agrees the digital economy’s important but not everyone’s agreed on what it is. Twenty years ago, it might have meant only the ICT sector itself. Ten years ago, that and some sectors that were taking most advantage of it. Today, all major sectors, and all firms of any size, in all countries are becoming digital to some significant degree.
This week we'll share a brief summary and some reflections on the Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
I've been taking time out to reflect on how the 'Information Society' is changing, the changing ways in which it's impacting on the wider world, the ways in which it interacts with other global challenges.
If we’re worried about the volume of data that’s gathered about us every time we click a mouse or tap a smartscreen, surely there must be more than enough to tell us all we need to know about how the Information Society’s evolving. Not so, and especially not so when it comes to measuring the impact of ICTs on sustainable development.
David Souter's blog returns from its winter break with a review of the fifteen years since the World Summit on the Information Society - and how it should be viewed in future. Starting with this instalment, the Information Society will be published twice a month.
Last week I wrote about some of the policy and regulatory issues that arise from the accelerating trend towards a digital society and new technologies such as artificial intelligence. This week some thoughts about employment issues.