Thursday, April 25, 2024

A Policy Brief and a Symposium, Oh My! -- On Middleware and Governing Online Discourse

Days apart by coincidence, my wide-ranging policy brief published today, and next Tuesday brings an exciting symposium at Stanford that I helped organize-- both focus on middleware agent services and why we need them -- to re-envision the future of social media.

  • The policy brief is "New Logics for Governing Human Discourse in the Online Era" - part of the Freedom of Thought Project at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). It expands on and updates my ongoing work (listed here) on these themes. It pulls together ideas about how freedom of impression guides freedom of expression without restricting it, and how combining 1) user agency, 2) a restored role for our traditional social mediation ecosystem, and 3) systems of social trust all combine to synergize that process for the online era. It offers a proactive vision of how that can enable social media to become ever more powerful and beneficial "bicycles for our minds."

  • The symposium is "Shaping the Future of Social Media with Middleware" - to be held on April 30 at Stanford by the Foundation for American Innovation and the Stanford Cyber Policy Center. Leading thinkers at the nexus of social media, middleware, and public policy will delve into the complexities and potential of middleware as a transformative force. That is to lead to a comprehensive white paper that offers recommendations and a roadmap for developers, investors, and policymakers. We have high hopes for this ambitious effort to bring new insight and energy into shaping the future of human discourse for the good.
Please do look at the policy brief, consider this broad vision that is gaining support, and stay tuned for reports on the Stanford/FAI symposium and where it leads.