Centre for Internet & Society

Gene Kogan will deliver a talk on the elements of a decentralized web at the Centre for Internet (CIS) office in Bengaluru on December 11, 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

The internet is broken. Straying far from the original vision of democratizing access to knowledge, large tech companies now resemble the industrial barons of the 19th century, presiding over what many scholars regard as a public utility but nevertheless unregulated. As machine learning has entered the picture, the usual suspects like Facebook, Reddit, and Quora, have begun training sophisticated algorithms on personal data to route traffic in order to maximize attention, leading to a web which is more atomized, addictive, and anxiety-inducing.

In response to this, some have begun writing about, conceptualizing, and implementing the open-source protocols of what they consider the future web 3.0. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have expanded their focus to more generalized blockchains which enable trust in decentralized platforms, while initiatives like IPDB and IPFS ambitiously promise to make hosting, storage, database querying, and even computation itself possible inside of peer-to-peer networks. But all is not well in this techno-utopia -- as the speculative bubble around this "internet of money" grows, so too does interest from the very institutions these new initiatives seek to overcome. The landscape is beginning to look like Silicon Valley of the 1990s and the threat of a crash looms. It's up to us to determine which way this one will play out.

Gene Kogan

Gene Kogan is an artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, computer science, and software for creativity and self-expression. He is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and gives workshops and lectures on topics at the intersection of code and art. Gene initiated ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists, and regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the subject.


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