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The Economist – Open Future2020-09-23T17:02:01+03:00

The Economist – Open Future

To neutralise populism, give people more control

To neutralise populism, give people more control Providing individuals with greater agency can improve our politics, say Robin Varghese and Sarah Pray of the Open Society Foundations   This is a by-invitation commentary as part of The Economist’s Open Future initiative, to spur a global conversation across the ideological spectrum on individual rights, markets and technology. * * * THE CURRENT wave of populism is often explained as a reaction against globalisation. The economic losers, the argument goes, have not [...]

October 7th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

A cry for freedom in the algorithmic age

A cry for freedom in the algorithmic age Humanity must retain the right to reject the network and uphold individuality, says Gaspard Koenig   As artificial intelligence makes its way to all areas of life, the most prominent people aiming to explain the technology and translate it for the public tend to be scientists, businessmen and often, Americans. Gaspard Koenig is different. A French philosopher, he runs GenerationLibre, a think-tank that promotes classical liberal values of individual freedom. And he [...]

September 28th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

Even noxious ideas need airing—censorship only makes them stronger

Even noxious ideas need airing—censorship only makes them stronger     Restricting free speech in the name of liberty fuels illiberalism, says Jacob Mchangama of Justitia, a Danish think-tank   “Freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread … where the dignity of other people is violated.” So said Angela Merkel in a speech to the Bundestag last November. The German chancellor grew up under a communist dictatorship and leads a country where vicious propaganda [...]

September 21st, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

How society can overcome covid-19

Countries can test, quarantine and prepare for the post-coronavirus world, says Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist   WHEN THE makers of the film “Contagion” in 2011 needed to vet the plausibility of the script, they turned to Larry Brilliant, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists. His reply scared them even more than the screenplay: not only was the scenario possible, he explained, it was almost certain to happen. Today, the world is living a nightmare similar to the cinematic description. Mr [...]

September 14th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

Cory Booker: “Making real the ideals of our country”

Cory Booker, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, on racial justice, fixing racial income inequality—and optimism   “THE PAST IS never dead. It's not even past,” wrote William Faulkner, an American novelist. The observation rings especially true for the agonising problem of race in America. After centuries of slavery and segregation, African-Americans achieved formal legal equality only in the 1960s. Yet discrimination persists and they are far more likely to be victims of police violence than other demographic groups. Cory [...]

September 7th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

Surveillance is a fact of life, so make privacy a human right

America needs more and better protections over personal data, says Lawrence Cappello of the University of Alabama   ONE OF the toughest questions of modern life is where to draw the bounds of privacy—and privacy law. Digital technologies make a virtue of sharing. At the same time, the ability of governments and companies to keep people’s activities under surveillance has never been greater. Slick artificial-intelligence algorithms depend on data, and creeping authoritarianism around the world means that the collection of [...]

February 27th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

Don’t trust AI until we build systems that earn trust

Progress in artificial intelligence belies a lack of transparency that is vital for its adoption, says Gary Marcus, coauthor of “Rebooting AI”   To judge from the hype, artificial intelligence is inches away from ripping through the economy and destroying everyone’s jobs—save for the AI scientists who build the technology and the baristas and yoga instructors who minister to them. But one critic of that view comes from within the tent of AI itself: Gary Marcus. From an academic background [...]

February 27th, 2020|The Economist-Open Future|

What Iraq taught me about identity, community, war and peace

  All conflicts end with talking—and we Brits need to talk, says Adnan Sarwar, a journalist and former British soldier   SOMETHING HAPPENED to me last year in Iraq. It made me think about Britain today: who we are, where we are and how we’ll get to somewhere new. But before we get to that incident, let me describe other moments from that visit. In February 2018 I went to Iraq to film a television programme for the BBC. In [...]

November 12th, 2019|The Economist-Open Future|
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