Rob event notes


The EU’s new Commission is looking to approve a new AI directive, and of course democratic participation is important to ensure a good law. What do you feel necessary from EU to participate?

In Belgium there is a company called It’sMe, who does online identity. They are pushing their data onto Azure, making it GDPR and EIDAS compliant. That changed my thinking, because it showed me as even these sterling silver pieces of European thinking ends up in the Silicon Valley cloud.
We need to break the number-person relationship: when you get born, you receive a number from the state, and the game’s up. I dream of disposable identities, that we set up with the purpose of entering into a relationship, like for example receiving a service. A good analogy is one-time email addresses: you get an email address, you sign up to some online service with it, use it ONCE to receive the email to confirm you do control that email, and then it self destructs.

What should the EU do practically?

Governance instead of government. Here’s my take: the kind of society you are looking at is anarcho-communist. The communist part is that infrastructure is fully centralized, like in the 30 glorieuse. Anything that runs onto the infrastructure is fully permissionless. That’s the anarchist part. And finally, the data stays with the people.

Can we think of counterproductive regulation on the Internet? Stuff like the copyright directive? how did we end up with all these things, that used to be a public good, end up being someone’s property?

internet changes the ratio of power. We behave like we are in the pre-internet era, because internet is a new technology and it takes longer for us to change behaviours.

do we actually need AI? Why are we pushing for AI?

Where do we bring the democratic process into new models?