This session examined the role of automated translation technologies combining statistical and artificial intelligence approaches in servicing the future needs of a multilingual internet. Discussion also referenced the increased incidence of commercial filtering, personalisation and behavioural targeting to individually tailor services and content options for Internet users. Consideration was given to the role of the Internet in eroding the costs of accessing diverse sources of information, alongside concern that excessive reliance on filtered and personalised services/content can undermine creativity, spontaneity and choice. Future education models will need to focus more on how to authenticate and exploit online information rather than traditional approaches of learning though memorisation. The low cost production and rapid prototyping opportunities offered by 3D printing technologies will revolutionise and disrupt the global manufacturing industry, although many of these innovative uses are likely run into conflict with existing copyright and IPR regulations. Attempts by governments to apply national laws to the Internet in relation to inflammatory or defamatory material will potentially pave the way for further regulation of other aspects of online activity which runs the risk of creating an increasingly balkanised Internet. Alongside the need for digital preservation strategies to address the long term sustainability of physical and online information, a key challenge for Internet governance will be to strike a balance between vertical information management structures and effectively harnessing the unprecedented potential of the internet for horizontal communication and engagement.

Specific questions for further discussion

(links take you to the relevant forum subtopic):

Q1: In 10 years will the concept of a free and open Internet be an anachronism?

Q2: Will 3D printing trigger sweeping reforms to intellectual property regimes as those frameworks become increasingly politically unacceptable in many developing countries?


Link to main discussion topic: