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.
One of the most important underlying issues of the digital revolution that’s now underway is: what will happen to the jobs?
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) met last week, for the fourteenth time. I’m one of the few, I suspect, that has been to every one. Some background – because not everyone knows about the IGF. Some comments on its progress. And some challenges for Anriette Esterhuysen, who has just been appointed by the UN Secretary General to chair the IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group.
What will ‘people-centred’ mean when decisions that matter are mainly taken by computer algorithms? What is development, or ‘sustainable development’, as now preferred? This week, what is inclusion?
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.