Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist who invented the web, is anxious about its future, thanks to the domination of a handful of companies, advertising and other related developments that have taken the Web away from its idealistic roots of being a tool for openness and democracy.
“I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence.”
“We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things.”
“People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them.”
“The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned.”
“We have these dark ads that target and manipulate me and then vanish because I can’t bookmark them. This is not democracy – this is putting who gets selected into the hands of the most manipulative companies out there.”
“We are so used to these systems being manipulated that people just think that’s how the internet works. We need to think about what it should be like.”
Photo copyright by World Economic Forum by Monika Flueckiger under creative commons