BBC puts summit into focus

Posted on 17th October 2018

Written by Julian Blake, Editor at DigitalAgenda

DigitalAgenda director and editor Julian Blake joined writer and analyst Jess Tyrrell at Broadcasting House this week for BBC’s World Service Radio’s Click show, to discuss this month’s Power & Responsibility summit and its 10 ideas on regulation, trust and responsible technology.

Our attitudes towards technology have changed completely, with a shift from tech worship to tech fear. How do we get from where we are to a state of human tech? That was the thinking when we created this month’s Power & Responsibility summit at London’s British Library – and it was the driver for our discussion paper informing the summit thinking.

In this week’s radio discussion with BBC Click presenters Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson, Jess highlighted some of the ideas in the discussion paper she co-authored with Eva Appelbaum.

Its 10 ideas for change include creating a hippocratic oath for data scientists, and taking the same approach to tech harms as we do with public health.

“A lot of the technology that we use today was never intended to be bad. It was not the point of it. There are a huge amount of unintended consequences that we are only now beginning to realise,” Jess told BBC Click.

“Social media has created echo chambers where people are more interested in talking to people like them and less engaged in the world around them and less connected to people who are not like them. The unintended things that happen as a result of that are we are beginning to realise for example in the way that people choose to vote and how that can be affected.”

On regulation, she added: “the internet is global, so how do you regulate for something so global? The impact of GDPR is interesting because we see in other regions where it is not required companies are still adhering to it.”

DigitalAgenda’s slot on BBC Click is a seven-minute listen from around 7m30s, here.

The Power & Responsibility discussion paper is open for comments until 31 October. 2018. Read the full paper and add your comments here.

Ten ways from fear to human tech – our discussion paper summarised


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